Neiphiu Rio and PB Acharya

Dimapur, July 18 (EMN): Citing ‘humiliation’ at being left out of the July 17 consultative meeting on RIIN held in Kohima, the Kachari and the Garo communities have decided to abstain from the proposed consultative meeting on July 20 in Chumoukedima.

The Kachari Tribal Council, Nagaland and the Nagaland Garo Tribal Council issued separate press statements on Thursday announcing their decisions to skip the meeting.

According to the The Kachari Tribal Council, it will not be attending the meeting because the Kacharis were not invited to the “first all-important consultative meeting” on RIIN held on July 17 even as all other hohos of recognised indigenous tribes were invited.

It stated that the Kachari community was “deliberately left out” of the meeting “demeaning the indigenous status and the very existence” of the community in the state. It would be futile to deliberate on the subject of RIIN when all relevant resolutions have been adopted in the July 17 meeting and made public already, it stated.

Also Read: NSCN (IM) Breaks Its Silence on RIIN

However, it expressed support to the state government’s policy on RIIN.

The Nagaland Garo Tribal Council stated that it was ‘immensely humiliated’ at being left out of the July 17 meeting despite the community “being one of the aboriginal and recognised tribes of Nagaland.”

According to the council, it has decided to abstain from the July 20 meeting “as we feel it baseless to attend the said meeting on that day as we have been already excluded from that imperative and decisive RIIN consultative meeting on July 17.”

Also Read: Garo tribe to abstain from attending July 20 consultative meet

“The Garo, being one of the recognised tribe of Nagaland, has five villages concentrated in the district of Dimapur, and also settled in other parts of the state. It is worth mentioning that the first Garo village after shifting from Panbari village around the foothills of Samaguting (present day Chumoukedima) in Nagaland by the name of Darogapathar was established in the year 1811, Eralibill (1910), Dubagaon (1910), Ekaranipathar (1942), Samaguri (1951).

“Despite of the historical facts, it is very unfortunate that the Garo tribe, being one of the recognised tribe finds no mention in the list of tribes of Nagaland, due to which we are utterly dismayed. The Garo tribe of Nagaland are at present socially, economically and politically backward in comparison with other tribes of Nagaland and has been deprived of rights and been neglected for many years in almost every field. We are also an integral part of the Naga society and have every right to enjoy like our brothers,” read the statement.

Rio updates Acharya on RIIN meeting

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Thursday called on Governor PB Acharya at the Raj Bhavan and apprised him of the recent consultative meeting on Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland and other matters relating to the state.

According to a DIPR report, the chief minister was accompanied by his advisor Abu Metha. Commissioner and Secretary to the governor, Dinesh Kumar, also attended the meeting.

JCPI submits suggestions 

The Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI) has submitted a number of suggestions to the Nagaland government concerning the formulation as well as implementation of the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN).

In a representation addressed to the chief secretary, the committee stated that three kinds of people reside in the state: indigenous; Indian citizens from other states but domiciled in the state; and ‘people of doubtful origin.’

In order to bring Dimapur under the ILP ambit, the state government needs to ‘identify, classify, and enumerate’ all the three classes of people, it asserted.

“…except for notified indigenous STs such as 14 Naga tribes and two non-Naga tribes, other indigenous inhabitants cannot be issued ST certificates nor allowed to hold public office except under Dimapur-1 A/C,” it suggested.

Also Read: RIIN preparation: Naga People’s Front chief puts forth suggestions

For Nagas from other states, the committee suggested a separate category/registry under RIIN called Non-Indigenous Domiciles or any nomenclature deemed fit.

“Having a concern for the livelihood and future of lakhs of non-indigenous people living in Dimapur and elsewhere – now having acquired properties despite the NLR Act, 1978 – a separate classification under RIIN for such post-1.12.1963 comers is necessary. They may be categorised as ‘Non-Indigenous Residents’ or by any nomenclature deemed fit which will permit them to continue to ply their livelihood despite the imposition of ILP in Dimapur (and Nagaland) but with certain restrictions,” it stated.

According to the committee, the representation was submitted to the chief secretary at the July 17 consultative meeting called by the state government in Kohima.

~EMN

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