Kohima, May 13: The Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) organised a rally in Dimapur today to demand the revocation of recognition of the Rongmei Naga community in the state.
Rongmeis are mostly from Tamenglong district in Manipur who have settled in the state for many decades. But the council was determined to press for de-recognition of the community stating that outsiders would infringe on the rights and privileges of the Nagas of Nagaland.
The council is already banned by the National Socialist Council of Nagalim/Government of the People’s Republic of Nagalim (NSCN/GPRN), a parallel-unrecognised government in Nagalim (Nagaland), led by Isak Chishi Swu and Th. Muivah.
The group said the NTC was formed last year with the sole intention to disturb the ongoing peace process. The council was also accused of being harboured by Congress leaders in the state.
Today’s rally was attended by Z. Lohe, former adviser to chief minister Neiphiu Rio who recently rejoined the Congress, and Thepfulhouvi Solo, NTC’s first president who resigned after a couple of months and a strong critic of the NSCN (Isak-Muivah).
Despite a low turnout at the rally, the NTC resolved to reiterate the representations submitted to the government of Nagaland against the inclusion of Rongmeis as a recognised tribe in Nagaland and unequivocally reaffirmed to pursue the matter till the notification is revoked in the larger interest of the people of Nagaland. They also resolved to denounce the July 23, 2012, cabinet decision for the recognition of “Rongmeis as one of the Naga tribes” entitling them all benefits of Scheduled Tribe in the state as an “anti people’s decision”.
The government recently constituted a review committee to look into the matter with chief secretary Banuo Z. Jamir as the chairman.
Theja Therieh, convener of the rally and S. Kitoho Rotokha, secretary of the rally, said the Nagas of Nagaland as a definite tribal entity have the sole prerogative of ownership over its land and resources and its secured privileges/status granted by the state. Hence, the Nagas would expect acceptance of the reality of their exclusive position as aboriginal people of the existing state till such a time when a new inclusive arrangement is carved out for all.
They said certain sections of people have taken the hospitality of the Nagas of Nagaland for granted and intruded beyond the acceptable limit, disregarding the exclusive ownership and rights given to the citizens.
Kiphire deputy commissioner and chairman of the District Literacy Mission Authority, Neposo Theluo inaugurated the two-day Saakshar Bharat interpersonal media campaign at Kiphire today.