Pleas of Inavi Village

We respect the fact the Wildlife Sanctuary Intangki forest is reserved for the Naga people at large and it is the duty of every Naga to preserve the same. Mention may be made that Beisumpukham village was the first village to encroach into the reserved forest of the government. Till today they are residing in the area. However, no punishment was imposed against the first defaulters and they are allowed to reside in the area peacefully but to impose punishment upon the subsequent settlers is not proper and against the norms of administration and against the procedure established by law. This policy of governance is a matter of shame for the Nagas. Is it because of the fact that the people from Inavi Village are foreigners? Or is it the foreigners who are trying to oust the villagers of Inavi village who are bonafide Nagas? Though we respect the fact that the area is reserved for the Nagas and the villagers were evicted in the name of the reserved forest but the point to note is that the plot occupied by Mr. Khehuto who was evicted several times by the NSCN (IM) during 1996-97 has now being occupied by Mr. Lungalang and the plot of Yehuvi Yimchunger by Reverend Puni. Here, the irony of the fact is that the NSCN (IM) Officials are evicting the helpless and the landless Nagas so that they can occupy the land themselves.

In the name of the reserved forest, Inavi village has been evicted 28 (twenty eight) times. The fact of the matter is Bieusumpikam village is also under the reserved area but they do not face any eviction process, they are even allowed to cultivate in the areas occupied by the Inavi village. Both the villages are occupying the areas under the permission issued by the State Government. It is to be mentioned that the Government by its order dated 16.11.1997 has issued an order directing that status quo be maintained over the areas and between Biesumpiukam village and Inavi village. In these circumstances, can it be said that Beisumpiukam village was granted permission by a real government whereas Inavi village were granted permission by a fake Government? Can it is stated that people from Beiseiumpukham villagers are first class citizens whereas, people from Inavi village are second class citizens? We may add here that since we are in the same line with Beiseiumpukham village, until the same policy and the same yardstick is applied to all the inhabitants of the area we will continue to reside in the area under any circumstances. Recently, certain claims have been made regarding the so called exchange of land between the government and the so called Beisumpukam village. Here it is pertinent to note that as per the judegmnet passed in the Court of Lima Aier, Deputy Commissioner Kohima on 12th September 1985, it had been decided and ruled as “the boundary so is demarcated between Lilan and Vongkithem villages and the disputed village viz. Beisampuikam falls under Lilan’s land”…. “Therefore the recent migrants who forcibly established Beisampuikam village surreptiously obtained permission from Beisampui village though the land belongs to Lilan”. Another judgement in the same Order reads as “on having examined the pros and cons of the case by giving sufficient opportunities to both the parties, it is hereby decreed that Beisampuikam is a village forcibly established ignoring all governmental procedures and customary norms within Lilan’s legal jurisdiction creating much hardships to Lilan and a serious magnitude of law and order situation…” This Order was never appealed against in any Court of law and as such the claim of exchange of land with the state Government is a blatant distortion of historical facts which can and should never be allowed.

Inavi village was granted permission to establish the village at Hazadisa village by the then Home Commissioner T.C.K. Lotha by his letter dated 22.4.1988. However, due to some problem the government again resettled the Inavi village to the present occupied location. We are dwelling in an area which was granted to us bonafide and the government is erring in its administration in its arbitrary and discriminatory attitude towards us. The are of Beiseiumpukham village which has been granted Zeliangrong recognition is as follows:

1. North – Reserve Forest Boundary
2. East – Mongleu River
3. South – Jangdilwa
4. West – Reserve Forest Intangki

According to the notifications by which permission was granted, the demarcated boundary of Beiseiumpukham village should have been found at the point of Misa Disa Nullah which is outside the reserve forest and not at the present location. Historically, the land occupied by Beiseiumpukham village was first occupied in 1997 by Kacharis known as Naiwaring village whose inhabitants are now residing in an area known Munglomuk village. We are aware of the facts and circumstances under which the Beiseiumpukham village is now situated.

On 20.6.09, the Tribal Naga Hoho had a joint meeting the with the State Government. In this meeting its was decided that Wild Life Sanctuary Intanki shall be termed as a reserved forest and be reserved as the property of the Nagas. We have no qualms about the decision taken in this meeting. However, some question remains to be answered, (1) Did the Hoho’s work out rehabilitation plan for the thousands of Naga’s presently being evicted? (2) Can the Hoho’s give back 15 years of sacrifice and hardship faced by the Inavi villagers? (3) Will the Hoho’s take responsibility of the host of homeless Naga refugees that might pour out in the streets? The saddest thing is that the Hoho’s endorsed to the eviction being carried out without knowing the ground realities, if mention is to be made none of the tribal Hoho’s visited Inavi village to take stock of the situation nor verified the ground realities before the meeting which was called by the Chief Minister on 20.06.09.

So how can the Hoho’s which is considered as a traditional Tribal supreme bodies take such hasty decision without taking into consideration the plight of the thousands of homeless Nagas, are they so insensitive to our cause that they are willing to turn a blind eye so as to appease some few individuals, but hear all man this fight for our livelihood will go down in the history of Nagas.

There are some vested interests who are keen on reserving the area for their personal interest and some who have already occupied the land after carrying out the eviction drive of the poor villagers as earlier above mentioned however, The ground reality remains unknown to the Nagas who are misled and willfully agree and support the reservation. It will be in the interest of the Nagas that all the Tribal Hohos should personally verify the areas sought to be reserved and be aware of the ground reality instead of watching the scene from afar and dictating the life of the helpless Nagas, There are persons who are playing double game and the same is in our knowledge. If at all it is to be stated that the people in the are making illegal encroachment then the same yardstick should be applied to all the inhabitants of the area and not otherwise as is seen to be done. It is our earnest request that all the concerned administrators, NGOs and concerned citizens should personally visit the area if they are to seek the real facts leading to the eviction so as to bring justice to all. We believe that justice will be delivered.

Hevito Sumi
Hd. G.B., Inavi Village