TODAY -

Neiphiu Rio's myopic belief on ILP : NPF

Kohima, 7th October 2019



The Naga Peoples’ Front appreciates the stand of Conrad Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya and Zoramthanga, Chief Minister of Mizoram for taking the right stand against Citizenship Amendment Bill from day one. We are also grateful to Union Home Minister, Amit Shah who understood the issue and had declared in Aizawl on Saturday that a special clause would be incorporated in the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in order to protect the interest of NE States particularly Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.

The people-centric outlook of Conrad Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya and Zoramthanga, Chief Minister of Mizoram is very much unlike Neiphiu Rio’s myopic belief of taking shelter under Article 371(A) and Inner Line Permit (ILP). The naive belief of Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio that Nagaland is protected under such provisions has been proved wrong today with the Union Home Minister declaring that a special clause would be incorporated in the Bill to protect the NE States including Nagaland. Without such a special clause, no State is protected under any provisions from the Bill in its present form.

The ignorance of the Bill and its implication on the part of Neiphiu Rio coupled with his MP abstaining from attending the Parliament Session when the said Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha is most unfortunate. If the Bill did not lapse in the Rajya Sabha, what would have been the position of Nagaland today? Will Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio and Lok Sabha MP, Tokheho Yepthomi be in a position to protect the Nagas from such a dangerous Act today?

It may be noted here that in the Cabinet Meetings held on June 5, 2018 and January 7, 2019, Neiphiu Rio and his Cabinet never opposed the Bill. Later, on January 28, 2019, Rio and his Cabinet took a U-turn and decided to oppose the Bill which however was under the assumption that the State was protected under Article 371(A) and Inner Line Permit (ILP).

During the Assembly Session in February 2019, Legislators of the Naga Peoples’ Front walked-out in protest against the infamous resolution on CAB which had clubbed the two constitutional provisions -Article 371(A) and ILP/Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873- with the Citizenship Amendment Bill. The same was PDA Government’s resolution and was never accepted as Assembly resolution by the Opposition Party.

The Naga Peoples’ Front was aware from the beginning that unless a notable clause is incorporated in the controversial Bill, no State in any part of NE India is protected under any provision including Article 371(A) and Inner Line Permit (ILP).

It would have done a lot of good, if this problem was identified prior to passing of the Bill by the 16th Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019 wherein the matter could have been resolved amicably if the three States had taken the same stand. However, it is better late than never and we welcome the positive announcement aimed towards safeguarding the rights and identity of the indigenous people in NE India.

Issued by:
Press Bureau,
Naga People’s Front,
Central Headquarter,
Kohima: Nagaland.


* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by NPF Bureau who can be contacted at npfpressbureau(AT)rediffmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on October 08 2019

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