The last day of the Nagaland Assembly session on Thursday witnessed a debate between the Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, and Leader of Opposition, TR Zeliang over Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN).
LO TR Zeliang has stated that the issue should be deliberated at length before implementation. “Creation of RIIN with 1963 as the basis of categorization without indigenous Nagas being well defined would only victimize certain sections of people,” he said.
Lashing out at the Rio-led government for their “indifferent attitude” in dealing with sensitive issues pertaining to the state like CAB and RIIN, Zeliang said that holding consultative meetings after issuing notification is inaccurate. “The fact is the Govt. of the day had done the similar thing of holding a consultative meeting after the cabinet decided not to oppose CAB,” he stated.
On the issue of ILP, Zeliang questioned the hesitation of the Govt. to implement ILP, particularly in Dimapur as assured on the floor by PDA in the last session.
Zeliang suggested bifurcation of RIIN with ILP and reiterated that proper modalities should be worked out with no hue and cry. He further urged the government to implement ILP in Dimapur district with the same stringent action as in other districts saying that it is only to identify non-tribals and non-Nagas.
Hitting back, Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, while replying and expressing government’s stand on this issue, lamented that it is unfortunate as the opposition members did not turn up for the consultative meeting on RIIN, when all the Tribal Hohos, NGOs and CSOs were present and extended their support on this exercise.
He also said that in the consultative meeting, all the tribal hohos, NGOs and CSOs endorsed the decision of the government and extended their support on the exercise of RIIN and at the same time, cautioned that proper modalities should be worked out based on customary laws and practices practiced by their own respective tribes.
Rio has sought opinions and constructive criticisms from all sections of the people including from the legislators. He urged all the stakeholders to come forward and support this exercise “as it is important not only for our present generation but also for the coming generations as well”, he added.
He informed that a Commission has been set up in regard to this issue where the members will thoroughly examine the matter and give recommendations/reports to the government.
The leader of the house also assured that the commission will go into the details and make sure that corrective measures over earlier notifications are taken.
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