The Phek District Court has issued a notice to renowned fashion designer Ritu Beri and the Tribal Co-Operative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd (TRIFED), Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs, over showcasing of Chakhesang Naga shawls in an event.

The court issued the notice on September 7 asking the fashion designer and TRIFED to file a written statement within one month on a civil suit filed by the Chakhesang Women Welfare Society (CWWS), acting executive director of the society Nezelu Nyekha said in a release on Tuesday.

Also read: Nagaland: Designer Ritu Beri under fire for ‘hurting sentiments’ of Nagas

The CWWS filed the civil suit claiming for damages caused due to “wrongful” and “illegal action” and infringement of the GI registered Chakhesang shawls by showcasing them during Suraj Kund Crafts Mela held on February 7.

The shawls were reportedly showcased under the theme ‘Naturally North East: The Naga Narrative’ without the permission of the Society.

In a statement on February 20, the CWWS said the Chakhesang shawls have already been registered under GI and that without due approval and consent from the registered proprietor the said shawls/patterns cannot be used by any individuals /designers/society/government, etc.

The CWWS said the show had caused irreparable damage/distorted the identity of the traditional shawls, wherein the shawls were woven and designed with deep-rooted meanings since time immemorial.

It expressed shock and anguish at fashion designer Beri for allegedly making a “mockery” of Chakhesang Nagas’ traditionally woven shawls.

The traditional shawls were developed and preserved over the years by the Chakhesang Nagas.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com