ITANAGAR, 24 Sep: In a statement that has surfaced on social media, the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (IM) has dictated the legislators of Tirap, Changlang and Longding (TCL) districts to withdraw their support to Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, accusing the two of acting against the Naga people’s interests.
The outfit said that “the MLAs who fail to uphold the right of the Nagas in Arunachal Pradesh” would be considered “anti-Naga.”
The TCL region has 11 legislators, including three cabinet ministers.
The statement from the NSCN (IM) is reportedly a reaction to the circular issued by Longding Deputy Commissioner Bani Lego, informing the public about the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021, deleting the term ‘Any other Naga tribe’.
Lego informed that, henceforth, ST certificates and permanent residence certificates will be issued in the name of the Wancho tribe of the district, in lieu of ‘Any other Naga tribe’.
Sources in the state police have confirmed that the statement came from the NSCN (IM).
The central government passed the bill in August, amending the constitutional list of the STs, as recommended by the Arunachal Pradesh government, and added the indigenous tribe names of Monpa, Sajolang, Sartang, Tai Khamti, Mishmi-Kaman (Miju Mishmi), Idu (Mishmi), Taraon (Digaru Mishmi), Nocte, Tangsa, Tutsa and Wancho. It deleted the words ‘Any other Naga tribe’.
The NSCN (IM) stated that the amendment, erasing the word ‘Naga’, “has blatantly insulted and humiliated the sentiment and rights of the Nagas of Tirap, Changlang and Long-ding districts in particular and the Nagas in general, which is unacceptable.”
The statement went on to say: “As it has done wilfully undermined, distorted the rights, identity, and denied the existent of the Naga people. Nagas were never a threat to human existent to anywhere. However, the circular order gives via a threat to the Naga people.”
“Nagas, wherever they are, shall voice disagreement to such indiscriminate note of circular order. We will never accept such derogatory order from a person in the office of DC Longding,” it stated.
Cautioning the government that the outfit would “not keep watching like sitting duck,” the statement said “even the government of India recognized the uniqueness of Naga history” during the tenure of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The Naga insurgent group’s latest attempt to meddle in Arunachal Pradesh’ internal affairs has sent a shockwave among the government functionaries working in the TCL districts. It has reportedly raised security concerns vis-à-vis the government employees working in the TCL region, particularly DC Bani Lego.
This daily has learnt that the state police have alerted the SPs of the TCL districts.
“The government is committed to protect its officers and men from any kind of threat,” said a top government official, who did not wish to be named.