RIIN consultation ‘decides’ on more consultations

A consultation meeting on RIIN was held at the State Banquet hall in Kohima on April 16. (DIPR Photo)
A consultation meeting on RIIN was held at the State Banquet hall in Kohima on April 16. (DIPR Photo)

‘Decision’ taken to form Joint Consultative Committee (JCC)

Morung Express News
Kohima | April 16

The consultative meeting on the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) today decided to form a Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) to conduct more consultations on the issue. The meeting was called by the Nagaland State Government and attended by tribe hohos and other organisations at the State Banquet Hall, Kohima. 

The meeting discussed the proper modalities and systems to achieve the objectives of RIIN in the State.

Briefing media persons after the meeting at the Civil Secretariat conference hall, Advisor, Mmhonlumo Kikon informed that the JCC would be headed by Home Commissioner, Abhijit Sinha as Commissioner and include members from the CNTC, ENPO and TPO. He informed that the option to co-opt more members into the committee will be open. 

Kikon said that the State Government will issue a notification pertaining to RIIN. At the district level, the committee will be headed by the Deputy Commissioners inclusive of various tribe hohos within the various districts.

During the meeting, the tribe hohos took a collective decision to go for RIIN but insisted that the Banuo Z Jamir report should be made known to the public before implementation. 

Kikon said the report was based on the interviews conducted by the committee with the various tribe hohos.

“On the basis of collecting their views and suggestion, they have come out with a report” said Kikon who also added that the members present were briefed on all the salient features of the report. Once the committee is officially formed, discussions on the content of the report will be held with more consultations, he added.

It may be noted that the Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI) and Nagaland Tribes Council, who have been very vocal on the issue, were not invited to the meeting. 

While not giving a specific reason as to why these two organizations were not invited, Kikon said the government wanted to have a deeper consultation and direct engagement with the tribe hohos.

“In the past, this particular mechanism was not set up because the government was studying the entire issue. Once a sensitive issue like this is not properly handled, there are so many litigations we might face. The government has to go through the process properly. And once we are ready like we are now, we decided to engage them more at the official level. They will also be involved in giving the final shape to the RIIN” stated Kikon.

Besides RIIN, the government also brought forth other issues like ILP, the SARFAESI Act, and ULB for discussion.

Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio said that the ILP should be introduced in Dimapur district after considering the complexities of a metropolitan area like Dimapur. He mooted formulating a law which protects not only the Nagas but also the citizens of other states. 

“We cannot harass the citizens of any other Indian State while working on the system of RIIN or implementing the Act”, he stated. He said identification of indigenous people amongst Nagas of Nagaland is not a problem due to involvement of village councils but identification of indigenous Nagas in other states is a problem, citing the examples of Sikkim, Tripura and Assam where the indigenous people have now become a minority in their own States. 

Rio suggested formation of a smaller group to work on the issue having state and district level committees comprising of apex bodies like ENPO, TPO and CNTC at the state level, and tribal hohos and MLAs at the district level. 

Opposition leader, TR Zeliang meanwhile highlighted the progress and current position of the Naga political issue after meeting the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah. He informed that as per the Union Home Minister “there cannot be any compromise on the issue of constitution and the flag.” Zeliang said he has informed the Union Home Minister that “unless the Naga political issue is solved, progress and development for Naga society is not possible”. 

Deputy Chief Minister, Y Patton meanwhile stated that the Nagaland Government is under constitutional obligation to adopt the system of municipalities in accordance with provisions of the Nagaland Municipal Act 2001.  Due to rapid urbanisation in Nagaland, ULBs were created to facilitate sustainable growth and to establish conducive urban governance, he said. 

Planning and Coordination Minister, Neiba Kronu spoke on the SARFAESI Act, and stressed on the importance of banks for growth and development of educated unemployed youths. “Unless we work together with the banks how can we progress”, Kronu said. He also added that banks will never come forward unless land mortgage is allowed.  
With DIPR inputs