Ceasefire, AFSPA cannot go hand in hand, says NTC

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DIMAPUR, May 3(Newmai): The Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) has questioned the wisdom of Government of India “as to how ceasefires entered into and political dialogue continued when its legal weapons such as AFSPA and all anti-terror laws are forced on the people giving the armed forces special powers to search, raid and arrests without a warrant, causing untold hardship and putting law and order in peril as though it is a terrorist infested State”. The NTC added, “In other words, olive branches were offered to peace loving Naga political groups on one hand whereas war has been waged against all those who are in ceasefire”. Peace and war are never of the same, and the two cannot go together, it added.

The NTC mentioned this in a memorandum submitted to the chief minister of Nagaland on Thursday.

According to the NTC, if peace is to be given a place, war has to pave the way. “Similarly, if Government of India is at all honest and sincere at ceasefire and dialogue, the Disturb Area Act, an action of suppression, cannot be imposed on Nagaland any longer”. According to the NTC, this “double standard policy” of Government of India proves that Nagaland was brought to its Union to be suppressed indefinitely. The Nagaland Tribes Council then urged the State Government to take immediate steps and impress upon the Government of India to revoke extension of ‘terrorism tag’ of Disturb Area Act in the entire state of Nagaland.

The NTC then asked the Government to take necessary steps to enforce Inner Line Regulation system all over the State of Nagaland.

According to the NTC, the Bengal Eastern-Frontier Regulation Act of 1873 under which the Inner Line Permit was provided for the State of Nagaland. The Nagaland Tribes Council said it had submitted its representation to the State Government way back in August 2016 to bring Dimapur areas under the purview of Inner Line Permit (ILP) as Dimapur is “inalienable part of Nagaland and the entire state jurisdiction is a tribal belt and equally vulnerable”.

The NTC then requested the State of Nagaland promptly take up the matter with the Union Law Commission and to the appropriate authority to exclude Nagaland from the purview of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) so that the inalienable provision of Article 371 A of the Constitution of India remains undisturbed.

Giving some backgrounds, the NTC stated that the Nagaland State came into being under the Constitution of India amendment (13th Amendment) of 1962. According to the NTC, Nagaland is wholly a tribal State and under Art. 371 A of the Constitution of India religious, social, customs and practices of the Nagas are fully protected. “Under this protective clauses and sub clauses of the Constitution of India, the personal and social life of the Nagas both men and women in the State remains well contented under the un-codified religious, social, customs and practices”, it stated. “That our way of life since time immemorial is quite distinct from the people in the mainland India, and Uniform Civil Code, if introduced, we shall be subjected to alien culture and social practices by compulsion under the law,” it added.

According to th NTC, the enacted law once “enforced upon us, our liberty of religious, social, customs and practices guaranteed by the Constitution of India would also be vanished sooner than later”. In this connection the Nagaland Tribes Council submitted representation to the concerned authorities way back in November 2016, it reminded. The Nagaland Tribes Council also stated that it had reminded the State government on the issue on March 18, 2018 for further necessary action of the government.

 

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