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Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), which has been spearheading the campaign against influx of illegal immigrants into the State, organised a public rally near Clock Tower Dimapur on Friday and reiterated its demand for inclusion of Dimapur district within Inner Line Permit (ILP) purview.
Hundreds of students in school and college uniforms and members of the public gathered at the rally site despite the scorching heat.
Addressing the rally, NSF president Kesosul Christopher Ltu said the federation had already carried out a drive on August 8 to check ILP defaulters and influx of illegal immigrants into the State.
He said this was followed by a public rally in Kohima on August 24, where a memorandum was submitted to chief minister Neiphiu Rio demanding that Dimapur district be included within the purview of the ILP, as per provision in the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873.
Ltu alleged that government machineries had failed to properly monitor ILP defaulters in the State. He said check gates in different parts of the State remains ineffective with ILPs being issued randomly and with no proper mechanism to monitor expiry or possession of ILP.
At such a crucial juncture, role of the administration, GBs and ward/village chairmen was vital, he stressed.
Ltu also brought up the issue of middlemen whom he held equally responsible for the rampant misuse of ILP. He claimed that these middlemen were hijacking the future of Nagas for a few hundred rupees. In this regard, he appealed to the students and public to act as watchdogs and give befitting punishment to those caught doing this.
He asserted that the federation would not allow anti-social elements with questionable identities within the Naga political movement to besmirch the image of Naga forefathers who made the supreme and selfless sacrifice for the Naga cause.
He said this group of people did not have an iota of knowledge about the Naga cause and aspirations.
He, therefore, called upon all political leaders, irrespective of party or group affiliations, to desist from using people with questionable identities.
Referring to engagement of illegal immigrants, the NSF president pointed out that even though the State had many educated youth, they preferred to conveniently stay unemployed, even as the immigrants found employment despite not having proper education. He called upon the local people to change this mindset and adopt a work culture as dignity of labour was defined by hard work.
Naga Council Dimapur (NCD) vice-president (administration) K Ghokheto Chophy, who too addressed the rally, lauded NSF and student community for organising the rally. He said NCD had also submitted a memorandum demanding implementation of ILP at New Field check gate, Dellai gate, Railway station and airport.
Appealing to the State government to take up this issue in the next Assembly session, the NCD leader warned that it would not remain a silent spectator if the council’s demand was not met. He also called upon the “genuine Indian Muslim community” to join hands with NSF, NCD, NTC and others to fight against the illegal immigrants. He urged all organisations to raise their voices in unison for a concerted effort to resolve the issue.
In his speech, convener of High Powered Committee (Dimapur Naga Students’ Union), K Temjen Jamir said even if the State was called Nagaland, Nagas had become tenants in their own land.
“We don’t own anything in our land. They are selling and we are buying. They are working and we are jobless,” he remarked.
Speaking on the unabated influx of illegal immigrants, Jamir stressed that it was not only a foreigners or Bangladeshi issue, but Nagaland as a State under the Indian Union had certain special privileges that were unique. He, however, observed that most Nagas were ignorant of what the constitution had given them.
He expressed apprehension that if the Nagas kept on depending others, they would soon be slaves in their own land. “The present generation should apologise for ruining the future of younger generation,” he asserted.