TODAY -

NPF re-raises Naga integration call
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Dimapur, June 27 2018: In joint meeting of all the 26 Naga People's Front (NPF) legislators held today in Dimapur, the members deliberated at length on the issues of the Naga integration and the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 .

On the Naga integration issue, NPF asserted that it is an "undying wish and a long cherished dream and legitimate right of the Nagas to live as one" .

The party also said that the Naga movement envisions the integration of Nagas across boundaries and borders and "this legitimate right existed much before" the formation of the Naga Club in 1929.The Naga People's Convention (NPC) has also insisted on integration of Naga contiguous areas to which the Government of India referred the matter to Article 3 and 4 of the Indian Constitution, the NPF added.

According to the party, even three Indian Prime Ministers, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi have acknowledged the unique history of the Nagas.

"Even the interlocutor for Indo -Naga Peace Talk Mr RN Ravi has not touched the hornet nest on the issue of Naga integration, knowing the far reaching effects it would have on the peace talk, hence Neiphiu Rio has no right to decide on this paramount matter that involves the future of the entire Nagas living across inter-State as well as international borders," it added.

The NPF said that Naga integration is a valid and legitimate right of the Nagas "because most of the territories were divided by British administrators" .

It also stated that integration or greater autonomy will depend on the final outcome of the ongoing negotiations by different political groups with the Government of India, "and till such time, nobody has the authority to denounce integration unless one is mad because it would tantamount to betrayal of our Naga Nation.

"Also, after categorically stating on April 13, 2018 that 'Nagas in India, spread across four States, should come together and Myanmar Nagas should seek a separate settlement,' Rio had to backtrack after the NSCN (K) criticized his statement," the NPF said, adding, "After this inflammatory statement made against the NSCN (K), Rio is today inviting the group to come to the negotiating table and resume ceasefire with the Government of India which clearly portrays his two-faced approach on the issue" .

On the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016, the NPF said that the proposed Amendment of the Citizenship Bill is a major concern for all the States in the North East.

According to the NPF, for Nagaland, it will directly challenge Article 371A and the indigenous rights of the people because it will make indigenous certificate and the ILP regulation not tenable due to the fact that Government of India proposes to give citizenship by cutting residential proof from 11 years to 6 years, allowing recognition of citizenship to even those illegal immigrants.

"Unlike what the Chief Minister would like to perceive, this Bill will have adverse effects on Article 371 A, where indigenous land and resources right will be challenged and buying of tribal land by non tribals in the name of law and development will become rampant," it added.

The NPF said that the "questionable statement that Nagaland will not oppose the Bill because we have special provision under Article 371 A to protect us is a serious breach of trust because the Citizenship Amendment Bill itself challenges the rights of the indigenous people and undermines Article 371 A" .

The NPF appealed to all right thinking citizens of the State to rise to the occasion and condemn "such acts of deceit and betrayal that seeks to compromise our unique history and destroy the future of our upcoming generations.

"Considering the rampant and massive influx of illegal immigrants into our State, and looking at the present scenerio where major portion of our economy is controlled by outsiders and monopoly of trade and commerce already taking place, a day is not far when Nagas will become minority in our own land," it added.

The NPF then urged all the right thinking citizens of the State to remain alert and not shy away from "core issues but to oppose tooth and nail such precarious issues especially on the integration and the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016" .


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