Dimapur, April 4 (EMN): The contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) brought together indigenous people from all the North eastern state to form a permanent body under the nomenclature of “North East Forum for Indigenous Peoples” (NEFIP).
The forum was formed during a three-day North-East Peoples’ Conference organised by the civil society organisation (CSOs) from all the seven NE states and hosted by MANPAC or Manipur People Against CAB in Imphal from April 1 to 3 at City Convention Centre.
Nagaland was represented by nine member delegation from the Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI) including its president, vice president, general secretary of Dimapur Naga Students’ Union (DNSU) and Z Lohe, NTC advisor.
A JCPI press release stated that the three-day conference dwelled at length on the implication of CAB for the entire NE region and the possibility of it being implemented after the 2019 elections as per the utterances of certain Indian leaders.
It was, perhaps, the first ever gathering of CSOs from the seven sister states of the NER wherein pertinent issues such as illegal immigration and AFSPA etc., were discussed. The ground breaking consensus arrived at the conference was the acknowledgment of misunderstandings and ongoing conflict of interests on numerous issues between the NE states and between communities.
However, the gathering of leaders resolved to dwell on issues of common interests or threats, particularly CAB at the moment. Considering the symbolic and the historic coming together of indigenous peoples under a common umbrella, it was felt that the indigenous communities of the NE Region should have a common platform henceforth to address issues facing the NE people now and for the future as well.
It was, thus, unanimously resolved to set up a permanent body under the nomenclature of “North East Forum for Indigenous Peoples” (NEFIP).
The conference ended on a strong note that the indigenous peoples of the NER would continue to oppose CAB tooth and nail even in the future no matter the circumstances. It also appealed to the Indian government not to impose laws which are detrimental to peace and harmony or against the interests of the NE states.
The release stated that the indigenous Tripuris narrated their own heart-breaking experiences and warned the other indigenous people gathered not to allow the Tripura mistake to ever happen again.
It was agreed that NEFIP should be represented by three members from all the seven NE states with one member designated as state co-ordinator. Ningthouja Lancha of Manipur was selected as the convenor of NEFIP. For Nagaland state Theja Therieh was selected as the state co-ordinator, while Tiatemsu Longchar, JCPI secretary, and K Thungchamo Ngullie were selected as members.
The next meeting of NEFIP is scheduled in Shillong on April 27.