GUWAHATI: Faced with protests from some quarters, the Nagaland government has decided to hold a consultative meeting on July 17 to discuss its ongoing exercise “Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland” (RIIN).
The decision was made as several influential tribal bodies and major insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) slammed the government on the exercise.
Official sources said RIIN was set in motion on July 10 with a view to streamline the system of issuance of indigenous inhabitant certificates and also to maintain a record of such indigenous inhabitants.
“Towards this, there have been views, opinions and concerns expressed by various sections including civil societies and tribal hohos. The concerns and observations expressed by different sections is a welcome development as such type of approach is the basis of any democratic society,” an official statement said.
It added: “The state government is of the clear opinion that the exercise needs consultations and deliberations with participation from all sections and stakeholders”.
The government assured that the process would involve civil society and citizenry of the state and that no decision that is discriminatory or in contravention of the interest of people or any community would be undertaken.
Earlier, several organisations, particularly Naga Hoho, which is the Nagas’ apex social organisation, and NSCN-IM, had slammed the Neiphiu Rio government for carrying out the exercise.
The Naga Hoho said RIIN would divide the Nagas. The NSCN-IM had said, “All Nagas are indigenous in their ancestral homeland which is contiguous. It is the legitimate rights and political decision of the Nagas to live together under one political roof. The Nagas do not and will not accept their division by imposed artificial state and international boundaries”.
A lot of Nagas, particularly from Manipur, are settled in Nagaland and there was a suspicion that the government was trying to erect a wall of division between the Nagas of the two states.