Thursday, February 9, 2023

Uphold SAPO claims in Kezoltsa and Dzükou areas: NTC urges state govt

Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) on Tuesday urged the state government to “wholeheartedly uphold” the claims of SAPO in Kezoltsa and Dzükou areas.
NTC through its media cell said that the concerned tribal bodies and NGOs have over the years made attempts to resolve the land dispute problems so as to restore the age-old peaceful atmosphere that existed between Southern Angami Public Organization (SAPO) and Mao Council.
NTC has, however, expressed anguish over the Nagaland government’s “silence and inaction” on the issue.
The council maintained that Manipur government had gone to the extent of establishing an outpost of armed police in the area to monitor and prohibit the movement of the people of SAPO. However, it said that the Nagaland government “seemingly” was yet to genuinely ponder on the issue.
NTC stated that state government has also not enforced any protective mechanism for safety and security of its own citizens but “unreservedly allows” the counterpart Manipur government to exercise its one-sided administrative authority.
Admitting that the land dispute was between two Naga communities, NTC has, however, said that one community belonged to Nagaland state and the other belonged to Manipur state.
“This being the case, whatever may be the dimension of the dispute it certainly falls within the ambit of the inter-state boundary issue,” NTC asserted.
According to NTC, Nagaland border problems were that of Constitutional and political issue, which needed to be addressed through Article 3 and 4 of the Constitution of India, wherein the chief arbiter was the Central government.
NTC maintained that it was high time that the state government took up the inter-state boundary and strive to settle the issue with the counterpart Manipur state government through the arbitration of the Centre.
Pointing out that Nagaland is a State, NTC said there cannot be any State or Country without any demarcated boundary. “Land is a creation of God and even an inch cannot be created by any human being,” it said.
NTC also stated that the boundary of any State was mostly based on traditional and ancestral land.
Although the aspiration of the Naga integration is respected at all times, NTC said the people of Nagaland cannot sacrifice any area of land that belonged to their communities ancestrally, traditionally and historically.
NTC has, therefore, urged upon the State government to “no longer timidly take shelter behind NGO(s)” but accord topmost importance of the land dispute issue in question, wholeheartedly uphold the claims of SAPO in Kezoltsa and Dzükou areas and “practically protect it from any form of encroachment from the neighbouring state.”
NTC has suggested that if Nagaland government cannot similarly setup Nagaland armed police post in the disputed areas in order to protect the SAPO people of Nagaland it must strongly ask Manipur government to immediately withdraw the already established armed police post in the area so that “one sided harassment” was not committed to the innocent visitors in the areas.

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