Dimapur, Feb. 11 (EMN): The Nagaland Tribes Council has expressed happiness that the Naga people still have the fight in them when it comes to issues that affect the common interest of Nagaland and the community there.
The NTC’s media cell issued a press release on Monday referring to the response of Naga Civil Society to the call for a shutdown across the state protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
The press release read: ‘The Nagas are passing through a very critical phase at the very moment in the light of the Naga political negotiations between the government of India (GOI) and the Nagas being at the last leg. (Quoting what) the deputy National Security Adviser RN Ravi, the interlocutor, who has been negotiating with Naga political groups on behalf of GOI, stated in the press recently that the negotiation will “be concluded soon.”’
‘The NTC is encouraged and feels elated to see how the Nagas of Nagaland responded to the call given by the joint coordination committee(JCC) comprising civil bodies, tribal organisations and indigenous citizens of Nagaland to observe total bandh today, the 11th February, 2019 all over the state of Nagaland,’ the press release read.
‘The general directives issued to public by the JCC were simple and clear that it was left to every individual’s choice whether one considers the Naga demands for the timely political solution and the scrapping of the Citizenship Amendment Bill of 2016 are important and for which the token observation of bandh is relevant or irrelevant.’
The organisation celebrated the “success of the bandh” across the state of Nagaland “solely because of the spontaneous response of the people of Nagaland,” and in that “one has to feel boosted up realizing that the Nagas have not lost the spirit.”
The “cohesion so exhibited today has given sense of security that we still possess the potentiality to synchronise our acts together for common good,” the NTC stated.
“The spontaneous responds from the citizens is a clear sign that people are behind the issues raised in public domain and the messages are laud and clear to the people who are in the realms of power.”
The NTC congratulates the JCC for spearheading the democratic protest “for those rightful demands.” It also appreciates the Naga public “for the sacrifice invested on worth cause (sic).”
Stating a similar vein of appreciation was the Naga People’s Front (NPF). The NPF Legislature Party issued a press release on Monday too conveying “our sincere appreciation to the organizers of the state-wide bandh,” under the aegis of Nagaland GB Federation (NGBF) and the JCPI, against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill of 2016, which was passed recently in the Lok Sabha.
“The spontaneous response from the general public to the call of the bandh is obviously the voice of the people against this devilish design of CAB 2016 which is doctored by the BJP party against the existence of the indigenous people of Northeast India,” the party stated.
“The success of this bandh, which was entirely based on voluntary performance is the mother of all bandhs in the state. The response of the people to the call of the bandh is so significant and the apparent anger of the Naga people. The fear of survival as indigenous people is absolutely genuine and justified.”
Here the party claimed that the NPF was “steadfast in our commitment” to stand against the Act to the last. It appealed to all the citizens of the state to stand up against the bill “for our own survival.”
“We have no political design or agenda in this issue, but we take it as an issue for the very survival of our existence, transcending all political spectrum. We are not interested to score any political mileage in this aspect, but for the simple reason ‘to survive our indigenous existence,’” the press release stated.
The NPF stated that the agitation maybe only the beginning “but we should together continue to fight for our right to exist as indigenous people.”
The design of the bill is such that the indigenous people of Northeast India will to be completely swamped and annihilate by the foreigners, the press release stated.
The opposition was of the opinion that the “oscillating stand” of the government in Nagaland “shall be answerable and held responsible should the bill operate against survival of our own indigenous people.”
Further, the NPF alleged that a government officer had threatened the gaon burah organisation. The press release mentioned what it stated “the unbecoming of the commissioner of the state government in threatening” (sic) the GB Federation to call off the bandh or face dire consequence of their appointments being cancelled by the government. The NPF called this alleged threat ‘appalling.’
‘The government should know that the GBs are not appointed under any service rules rather it is the special provisions under 371(a) which grants them the status to be guardians of customary and traditional laws and practice of the Naga people, as enshrined in 16-Point Agreement,’ the press release added.