The Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC), for more clarity and understanding for those of the people of Nagaland who are ignorant about its existence, ventilates through this press statement the eruption of social unrest for want of justice leading to the formation of NTC as the “Tribal Apex Body of Nagaland” in 2013. The issue was the State Government’s contemplation to recognize Mao Naga tribe as Indigenous Tribe in the state of Nagaland without territorial integration. However, at that point of time there was no proper platform to address such issues to the extent of challenging or defending one’s own right.

The concerned citizens then realized not only their failures but at the same time the importance of having a common platform and took courage to rise and build the broken society. Under the compelling situation the CNTC initiated the gathering of concerned leaders and Tribal Hoho representatives of all Tribes in Nagaland in the month of April, 2013 at Hotel Saramati, Dimapur. The consultative meeting was basically to deliberate on the issue of the State Government’s determination to recognize the Mao Naga tribe as Indigenous Tribe in the state of Nagaland. Adding salt to the wounds it was brought to the knowledge of the house that the Rongmei tribe was already recognized as Indigenous tribe in the state of Nagaland a year back.

In the meeting, the members deliberated on the impending threat to indigenous rights due to certain reckless political decisions of State Government. Various leaders of Nagaland who took part in the discussion vehemently opposed the recognition of any tribe besides the aboriginal Naga Tribes of the State of Nagaland since time immemorial and before colonization by other people. The gathering was unexpected and encouraging. That was the turning point for formation of “Tribal Apex Body of Nagaland” and for that matter the NTC.

More so, the very interest of the state government of Nagaland proposing a plan to earmark the plain foothill sector in the state as the “Nagaland Special Development Zones (NSDZ)” and term it as “Land Bank” is implicit of fulfilling an undisclosed agenda.Serial No. 10 of the concept note of NSDZ states as; “Clause (i): The first aspect will be to restructure the land tenure system through intensive “cadastral survey” identifying the ownership. Clause (ii): Such an exercise will be followed by the introduction of title and ownership deeds and its registration to give legal coverage and sanctity. Clause (iii): Such a process is intended to regulate the land tenure system to facilitate legal ownership and transfer of land and thereby facilitate investment and industrialization. Clause (iv): This will entail the relaxation of the existing systems of land ownership and tenure systems that are largely tribal in nature. Clause (v): In such SDZs the ILP system based on the BEFR (Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873) will be relaxed.

“Cadastral Land” means like that of land holding system under Dimapur dominion. The aforementioned clauses have made it clear that the enforcement of ILP and the Nagaland Land (Amendment) Act 1978will be bereft ofwithin the earmarked area of NSDZ. Virtually the areas under NSDZ will remain outside the purview of the Art. 371A of the Constitution of India, whereby the vast plain foothill sectors will be leased out to strangers for permanent settlement.

On top of all these was also found that there were proposals of setting up Gaidinliu Memorial Hall at Kohima by State the government; installing ofan oversize metal statue of Gaidinlu at Dimapur Airport and naming after her; and the proposal of placing the portrait of Gaidinlu inside the Nagaland Legislative Assembly Hall.

The people of Nagaland were never consulted by the state government on all these issues but secretly tried to accomplish for benefit of, and the best reasons known to the people in authority alone.

All these reasons strengthened the formation of NTC. The aforementioned reasons would simply justify whether NTC is against the government or the people at the government creates artificial problems against the wishes of the people on a sell-out basis of our inherent rights.Since its launch, the NTC has not deserted any issue affecting the welfare of its people in Nagaland.

The recognized Naga Tribes in Nagaland issued by the Government of Nagaland vide Home Branch No.SC-22/Home/1/67/dated 6th July 2009 is; namely:1)ANGAMI; 2)AO; 3)SUMI; 4)LOTHA; 5)RENGMA; 6)KONYAK; 7)SANGTAM; 8)PHOM; 9)CHANG; 10)YIMCHUNGER (Now Yimkhiung); 11)KHIAMNIUNGAN; 12)CHAKHESANG; 13)ZELIANG; 14)POCHURY; and now Tikhir coming as the 15th Naga Tribes of Nagaland. However, to the utter surprise of the indigenous people of Nagaland the legitimate and recognized tribe of Nagaland Zeliang is out but anew bornimaginary tribe of “ZeliangrongBaudi (ZB)” has come up in the list attached to working paper/proposal Dt. DCM10/2023 and 21/11/2023 “PREAMBLE OF UNDERSTANDING” “….Apex body’s Structure… (STATE LEVEL=TIER-III)” under TUN. The letter of Apex Body formation of Naga Tribes of Nagaland and the preamble of understanding with attached list of the tribes under State Level=Tier-III in the proposal dated 16th Oct/2023 is to form under the Nagaland Village and Tribal Council Act and was circulated with the name of a facilitator.

Although the wishful thinking of the NTC is to unify all the 14 tribes (now 15 tribes) of Nagaland and as well inserted in its Constitution, the Official Communication was received from ENPO on behalves of the Six Tribes (now seven) of Eastern Nagaland dated 6th August 2013 where the ENPO expressed technical and circumstantial reasons that has restrained them from joining the General Council of NTC.It however conveyed their desire to co-operate and work together in common issues and interest of the Nagas and the State in general. Amongst the rest left over 8 tribes of Nagaland, it is an undeniable fact that NTC has the endorsement of 7 tribes as of now.

Series of meetings for formation of Apex Body of Naga Tribes of Nagaland were held recently but not even once was the NTC invited or officially communicated on the matter. The opinion of NTC is not sought at all and that the proposal is with the sole intention to jeopardise the NTC functioning. Therefore, implication on NTC in any manner is not correct, hence unacceptable.Apparently, the proposal for Apex Body formation of Naga Tribes of Nagaland is still secret with the organizers. If at all it is required all the sixty (60) Elected Members of NLA must have the consensus first.

Media Cell, NTC

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