According to a report in the Nagaland Post, the contention made by Rio that Nagas of Nagaland are protected under Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873 and Inner Line Permit(ILP) regulations purportedly to explain the PDA government’s stand on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 was ‘totally wrong and misleading’.
Imchen was of the opinion that ILP was derived from Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873, also known as Regulation 5 of 1873 in operation in Nagaland but added, the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act does not protect Nagas, their identity or interest as was being made out by Rio.
“Rio needed to be educated on the difference between acquiring citizenship of a particular country and obtaining permission for access to a particular region of a country,” Imchen had said.
Admitting that states were not directly intimated when a draft bill was proposed for introduction in Parliament, Imchen pointed out that as the then lone MP in the Lok Sabha, Rio should explain what did he do when the draft of the bill was introduced in July 2016.
He further said, when current Lok Sabha member Tokheho Yepthomi of NDPP supported passage of the bill in Lok Sabha on January 8, the act of PDA in requesting the Centre to review it was a ‘humiliation and insult’ to the ‘intelligence of the Nagas’.