DDK panel discussion on illegal immigrants
(From Left) K.V.Nurumi, Phushika Aomi, Er.Petekhriezo, Kelhouneizo Yhome, Elu Ndang and H.Chishi taking part in the discussion on the issue of illegal migrants on DD Northeast.
Kohima, June 30 (MExN): Panelists deliberating on the issue of whether illegal migrants had beyond Nagaland’s grasp on DD Northeast programme Trends of Nagaland Saturday viewed that the crux of the problem lies with the people of the state that can be resolved by Nagas no matter how serious the issue may be.
NSF President Kelhouneizo Yhome opined that both Centre and state government should act on influx of foreigners in border stretches of the country to check and control immigrants from across the border especially from Bangladesh. Yhome informed that the apex students’ body has been pursing for hard measures to check illegal immigrants since way back in time and had even directed all its federating units to carry out verification drives.
NSF president lamented on the government’s inaction on the issue but expressed satisfaction over the matter being taken up by certain civil society groups and student bodies which he termed as a step to protect the future of Nagas from the threat posed by illegal migrants especially in India and the entire Northeast region.
North East Students Organisation (NESO) organizing secretary Elu Ndang maintained that the government has so far posed a more reactive approach despite the knowledge it had on the massive influx of foreigners in the region. Ndang suggested the government to bring out a white paper on the flow of migrants, a more comprehensive policy and also be proactive and not be reactive to the issue. NESO representative said that the present system for issuance of Inner Line Permits (ILP) were faulty and demanded that ILPs should be introduced in all the Northeastern states.
Former NSF president Phushika Aomi, who also took part in the hour long discussion, said that efforts were made in the past to record the data on illegal immigrants and it was found that even places in remote areas of the state had become places of refuge for these groups of people thus endangering the existence of Naga people.
Aomi said more effective policies should be implemented by the state government to support the initiatives taken by the NGOs and communities especially on legal issues where the long hands of the law can be effectively dealt with by the government alone.
Er.Petekhreizo Dzuvichu, former KVYO president recalled the year 2002 resolution adopted by the Lhisemia Youth Organization (a khel) of Kohima Village where its jurisdiction prohibited any engagement of manual labor or establishment of business ventures by identified illegal migrants. He also cited the instance of Mokokchung where business houses are no more run or owned by outsiders. Dzuvichu said it has not had any problems in adopting this measure and resolution thus far and asked why communities in different localities, villages and town cannot follow suit.
Citing instances of flaws in ILPs, the former KVYO president said stringent and effective mechanism should be introduced and our own people should stop acting as guarantors or guardians of illegal migrants. Correspondent of The Telegraph newspaper H.Chishi on the other hand, termed the issue as human that required a multi-pronged strategy. Stating the human migration for settlement is a worldwide phenomenon, Chishi said by targeting a particular community alone, we should not be seen as succumbing to pressures of certain agency because that agency was unfriendly to India.
Chishi pointed out that domicile certificates indicating the indigenous nature of a person is no more a problem especially people settled in Southern districts of Assam. In Nagaland, he said, flaws in electoral rolls have become another valid document for the migrants to prove their genuine Indian stature.
Chishi said that certain agreement in the India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship 1950 should be scrapped and Nagas should not only focus on one community alone but should be aware of other communities which have slowly made access to Nagas tradition, culture and social fabric. We should generalize the issue and not particularize it, he commented.
Replying to a query posted by a blogger on facebook on the laws pertaining to the status of children born to illegal immigrants in the place they moved to, NSF president nothing can replace the indigenous nature of the tribals and that the student body had made its stand clear on Nagas by blood and not by adoption or other means. Phushika Aomi commented that instances of inter-marriages between Nagas and illegal immigrants in Dimapur may be isolated cases. However even if it existed, the village authorities have left the fate of these people on their own as children born out of these inter-marriages cannot inherit any immovable properties as agreed upon by village authorities.
On another query by a blogger on whether Nagas are prepared to do the manual labour works at cheap wage, all the panelist agreed that Nagas were and would continue to remain as working people. NSF president summed up the discussion saying Nagas have toiled and struggled all these years all alone without the need to have any labour to assist. However with development in the fields of education, technology and infrastructure, the need to engage work force for technical support which had invited outsiders’ assistance. But with the changing times, all of these have gone and Nagas can do for themselves what is required of them to be done in all practicality and there is now a ray of hope in all fields, the NSF president asserted.
The hour long live discussion program was anchored by senior journalist and TV presenter, K.V.Nurumi. The recorded program will be telecast on DDK, Kohima Sunday at 6 P.M.
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