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Withdraw support to State govt, NSCN (I-M) tells MLAs of 3 Arunachal districts

The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, or NSCN (I-M), has ‘ordered’ the MLAs of three districts of Arunachal Pradesh to withdraw support to the Pema Khandu government.

The official removal of ‘Naga’ tag from certain communities inhabiting these three districts — Tirap, Changlang and Longding clubbed as TCL — is said to be the reason behind this diktat.

Blatant insult

In a statement issued by its self-styled ‘colonel’ K. Aso Lori, the NSCN (I-M) said the erasure of the word ‘Naga’ from communities hitherto recognised as “any other Naga tribe” has “blatantly insulted and humiliated the sentiment and rights of the Nagas of TCL”.

Parliament had in August passed the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2021, seeking to change the nomenclature of certain tribes from Arunachal Pradesh mentioned in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribe) Order of 1950.

Apart from correcting the names of some tribes in the constitutional list of STs, the Bill added the communities such as Monpa, Sajolang, Sartang, Tai-Khamti, Mishmi-Kaman, Idu and Taraon. There are no disputes over these names but the NSCN (I-M) has objected to the inclusion of Nocte, Tangsa, Tutsa and Wancho — four communities that were clubbed as “any other Naga tribe”.

Referring to an August 24 circular by Bani Lego, Deputy Commissioner of Longding district, informing the public the deletion of “any other Naga tribes”, the NSCN (I-M) asked all the MLAs from the TCL districts to withdraw support to Mr. Khandu and Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein. The TCL region has 11 MLAs, three of them Ministers in the State’s Bharatiya Janta Party government.

The outfit accused Mr. Khandu and Mr. Mein of acting against the interests of the Naga people and said any or all of the 11 TCL legislators would be considered “anti-Naga” if they fail to uphold the rights of the Nagas in Arunachal Pradesh.

Derogatory order

The change of nomenclature has “wilfully undermined, distorted the identity and denied the existence of the Naga people” in Arunachal Pradesh, the NSCN (I-M) said. “… We will never accept such derogatory order.”

Officials in the TCL districts said the security forces have been alerted for possible subversive activities by the Naga extremist groups.

Many in Arunachal Pradesh believe that the clubbing of some tribes had legitimised the NSCN (I-M)’s claim for Greater Nagalim, a perceived utopia comprising all Naga-inhabited areas of the northeast.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 9:01:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/withdraw-support-to-state-govt-nscn-i-m-tells-mlas-of-3-arunachal-districts/article36666033.ece

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