Mokokchung, 21 February (MTNews): The Land Owners’ Board of Mokokchung, Ungma, and Khensa villages has submitted a representation to the Deputy Commissioner of Mokokchung seeking documented evidence of transactions involving the purchase of land during the British era in Mokokchung Town.

According to the board, the Compilation of Land Records 1890-1990 has mentioned that in 1889, the Mokokchung subdivision was built and the Government purchased the rights over the land for Rs 100/- to build the new subdivision station. Additionally, many parties and individuals have claimed to have acquired land from the British.

The board emphasized the significance of ancestral land ownership in Naga culture, highlighting the strict practices governing land transactions.

They stated, “Since the earliest times, no land or part of land can be sold, mortgaged, leased, bartered, or gifted to outsiders. An individual cannot sell land belonging to the clan at his discretion.

To do so would debar him from all other rights to ancestral property. In rare cases, when an individual would like to sell his land, his nearest family, clan, or villagers are given the chance before selling off to a prospective buyer from the same village, never to a prospective buyer from another village.”

Moreover, the board pointed out that when the British “unilaterally declared Mokokchung district as part of their territory in 1889, the British possessed immense military power while seizing control of vast territories, thereby displacing and subjugating the cultural ethos and value systems of the original inhabitants.”

They further added that unlike the strict practices followed by the Naga ancestors, the process of “buying” land was often oversimplified when the British acquired land during their colonial period. The board claimed that this opened “vistas for certain interested parties or individuals to take advantage of this incongruity.”

Consequently, the Land Owners’ Board has requested the Deputy Commissioner to provide documented evidence of the utilization of sanctioned funds, sale deeds, and details of transactions between the British and any parties or individuals regarding land sales or gifts.

“This is to settle any such claims from any party or individual that are currently in dispute or bound to occur in the future,” it added.

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