Dimapur, Jan 20: The Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI) has asked the Nagaland government-constituted Committee on Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation/Inner Line Permit/Inclusion of Dimapur under ILP to submit its report to the state government within 10 days with effect from Sunday, failing which it would resort to agitation of any sort to protect the state from illegal immigrants.
The JCPI, representing over than 20 Nagaland civil society organisations, also asked the government committee to hand over a copy of the findings or recommendations to it for perusal.
The Nagaland government on August 18 last year had set up a committee headed by commissioner and secretary to CM, Abhishek Singh, to prepare a comprehensive action plan and mechanisms to streamline ILP and to effectively curb illegal immigrants. The committee was also asked to bring out a strong policy to safeguard the rights and security of indigenous inhabitants of the state in the aftermath of the ongoing NRC drive in Assam.
The committee was formed during a meeting of the JCPI with the senior state government officials in Kohima.
The JCPI alleged that the government-constituted committee reneged on its commitment to give its recommendations to the Nagaland government latest by November 2018.
The JCPI, formed under the aegis of Nagaland Tribes Council Dimapur, said it was grappling with some of the “most emotional and dangerous issues of our times.” It maintained that as a matured body, representing the present and the future of the Naga people, has been very cooperative and patient with the government-constituted committee.
However, the release said the dilly-dallying of the committee and the fiasco related to the government’s utter failure to protect the interest of the Naga people vis-à-vis the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has left JCPI with no choice but to be prepared to take recourse to democratic means of agitation to protect and safeguard Naga rights.
The JCPI also termed the argument given by Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) that Article 371 (A), BEFR/ILP and Village Council Act 1978 is enough to deal with the Bill as “infantile and bereft of rationality and reasoning as expected from seasoned politicians”.
It said the Nagaland chief minister’s failure to oppose the Bill has “demeaned and shamed the Naga people in the eyes of our Northeastern brethren”. It pointed out that even the BJP chief minister of Manipur besides chief ministers of Meghalaya and Mizoram have objected to the Bill and Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has tried to justify himself.
Unless the state government vehemently opposes the Bill, the JCPI said, the people’s verdict would be that the government has sold out on the Naga people for the sake of petty politics and the chair,
The JCPI said it was now incumbent upon the apex tribal institutions to shoulder the responsibility of protecting the rights of the people. It appealed to all sections of people, cutting across party lines, to be prepared for any eventuality, which would be spelt out in the days to come.