Nagaland working to strengthen status of indigenous non-Nagas: CM

Kohima, Nov 17 (PTI) Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio Wednesday gave an assurance that the Nagaland government will look into the possibility of making the recognised’ non-Naga indigenous inhabitants as permanent residents of the state.

The state government, he said, is working on strengthening the status of non-Naga indigenous inhabitants through the exercise of the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN).

The RIIN is expected to help maintain a record of indigenous inhabitants, who settled in Nagaland before December 1, 1963, the day it became a full-fledged state.

The state government in June 2019 had launched the RIIN exercise to streamline the system of issuance of indigenous inhabitant certificates.

The chief minister was addressing a gathering of Gorkha community people during the inaugural function of the Gorkha Public Panchayat Kohima (GPPK) multi-utility hall in Chandmari here.

Maintaining that the government is in the process of formulating RIIN, the chief minister said you (Gorkhas) will also figure in RIIN because you are already recognised as Indigenous Non-Naga Local Residents of Nagaland as mentioned in the State Government Gazette Notification of 22nd October, 1974.

This time in the RIIN exercise, the government will work on how to strengthen your position as already recognised people of the state.

Highlighting that the presence of the Nepali/Gorkhali’ community can be strongly felt in many important countries and cities, Rio said in Nagaland too they have been living here even before the World War-II or in the pre-Independence years.

The Gorkhas have made friends with people of Tsutuonuomia Khel, a sector out of the four khels’ in Kohima village, and have a very close relationship with them, while the latter have adopted and given them all protection, he said.

The division of a village into several khels’ is based largely on geography, but speakers of the same language, members of the same clan or groups of immigrants might occupy the same khel.

Gorkhas are very accessible and have a lot of similarity with the Nagas, including simplicity, bravery, honesty, trustworthiness, and faithfulness, he said.

We will continue to have the brotherhood, said Rio.

On the grievances of the Gorkhas, Rio gave assurance that the government will look into the possibilities of making them permanent residents and make them feel more comfortable in the state.

Nagaland also has other recognised non-Naga tribes like the Kukis, Garos, Kacharis and Mikhirs (Karbis) who have their villages inside Nagaland much before 1947 and the state attaining statehood, he said.

Your category will fall in that and the government will see what will be best for all of us, he said.

Rio went on to state the fact that even during World War-II when many non-Nagas had fled Kohima, the Gorkha community stood with the locals and went through the difficult times and even supported the rebuilding process of Kohima town.

He also said that proper directive would be given to the Art and Culture Department on declaring Gorkha Singha Devi Mandir, Chandmari, Kohima established in 1880 in Chandmari as heritage of Nagaland .

GPPK president Santu Thapa said Today is a historic and memorable day for the Gorkha community of Kohima and it will remain cherished by generations .