Dimapur, Nov. 4 (EMN): The Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation (NVCO) on Monday submitted a representation to the government of India’s interlocutor for the Naga political talks and Nagaland Governor RN Ravi to ‘strengthen Article 371 (A) of the Indian Constitution and restore the resolution of the Nagaland State Legislative Assembly on July 26, 2010 in respect of ownership and transfer of land and its resources, including mineral oil.’

This was informed by the press and media cell of the organisation through a statement on November 4.

The NVCO stated that ‘Article 371 (A) is a special provision with respect to the state of Nagaland which was inserted in Part XXI of the Constitution of India.’

It said  that the Article states that no Act of Parliament in respect of ‘Religious or social practices of the Nagas, Naga customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to the customary law, and ownership and transfer of land and its resources shall apply to the state of Nagaland unless the legislative  assembly of Nagaland decides to through a resolution.

Also Read: Article 371 A a sacred commitment to Nagaland people: Governor RN Ravi

To this, the organisation stated, the Nagaland state assembly had on July 26 2010 passed a resolution stating that no Act of the Parliament shall apply to the state in respect of “ownership and transfer of land and its resources” including mineral oil.

However, the NVCO’s president Kezhokhoto Savi stated the ministry of Home Affairs, government of India, issued an office memorandum in 2013 stating that “Article 371A (a) does not confer legislative power to the legislative  assembly of Nagaland on regulation and development of mineral oil. The ministry went on to state that the resolution passed by NLA was ‘unconstitutional and invalid.’”

Lamenting that the provisions given in the ‘16-Point Agreement of 1960 and Article 371A is slowly fading and practically eroding by arbitrary dictates of the GoI,’ the organisation has urged Ravi to seriously take up the issue with the Indian government and ensure that the provisions given in the Article are protected.

The NVCO has also appealed to the government of India to let Nagaland state have the power to frame its own laws regarding ownership and transfer of land and resources including mineral oil as enshrined in Article 371 (A).

~EMN

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