Anti-CAA protest
Representative photo. Image credit - www.businessinsider.in

All the tribal apex bodies and civil society organisations in Nagaland decided to reject the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019 outright for all time to come.

This was among the several resolutions adopted at a joint meeting of all tribal apex bodies and civil society organisations at Dimapur on Wednesday.

The Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI) convenor K. Ghokheto Chopi and secretary Tia Longchar said this in a statement on Thursday.

The meeting observed that the protective clauses like the inner-line permit (ILP) and Article 371 A will not protect Nagaland once the CAA is imposed in the neighbouring states.

Also read: Nagaland: Bandh against Citizenship Amendment Act passes off peacefully

However, Nagaland has been exempted from the purview of the Act.

The civil society organisations demanded the state political parties – ruling NDPP and Opposition Naga People’s Front – to come out with a clear-cut stand as to why the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs representing the citizens of Nagaland from the two parties voted in favour of CAA.

Also read: Nagaland MP Yepthomi clarifies on voting for CAB in Lok Sabha

They warned that the MPs would be held responsible if the future of Naga people is put into jeopardy at the end of the day.

While extending solidarity with all the anti-CAA protests across the Northeast and other parts of India, the meeting condemned the killings of indigenous protesters by the Assam police and the “immigrants” in Tripura.

It decided to cooperate with other states on the issue of CAA under the aegis of the North East Indigenous People’s Forum.

Also read: Nagaland Congress slams NDPP, NPF MPs

Expressing their firm stand against having two cut-off dates with regard to the coverage of ILP in Dimapur district, the organisations pointed out that the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1873 had come along with the creation of statehood on December 1, 1963.

They said December 1, 1963, should be the cut-off date and year for ILP since indigenous certificates were being issued on the basis of this. “This is non-negotiable,” they asserted.

The meeting also decided to serve an ultimatum to the state government to submit the final report of the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland Commission before January 31 and issue the final notification by February 29 next year.

It also condemned the memorandum submitted by some “vested interest” non-local groups to the state government requesting it not to bring Dimapur under the ILP coverage.

The meeting said the appeal was a misrepresentation of facts and a mischievous attempt to sow strife and division among different communities.

The JCPI said it had in the past consulted non-Naga communities and considered them as fellow stakeholders in the demand for ILP coverage in Dimapur.

It said it was ever ready to reason and sort out any genuine grievances or doubts with any communities in Dimapur.

Bhadra Gogoi

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