Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) has expressed utter surprise at the statement of Commissioner and Secretary School Education and SCERT, F.P. Solo who said that “Art 371(A) has become impediment to development”.
Reacting sharply to his statement, NTC media cell in a press release said such an “irresponsible statement” was not expected from a top bureaucrat who is presently holding vital departments.
NTC alleged that the impediments to developments in Nagaland today were nothing but “corruption from top to bottom irrespective of politicians or bureaucrats”. It further added that “lack of integrity in the government and its machineries, selfishness, senselessness, tribalism, nepotism and greed of power and wealth were the impediments to progress”.
Stating that the “motive behind “Solo’s statement was exclusively known to him, NTC alleged that his statement has targeted the very article by which Nagaland State was placed in a special position above other states.
The council said that the citizens of the State were proud of the Constitutional status under which the land and its resources belong to the indigenous people of Nagaland unlike other states and union territories where the land belongs to the State.
NTC therefore reminded that the special provision under Article 371(A) has neither “ambiguity” nor “confusion” for “furtherance” of development in the interest of the people of Nagaland.
It reminded that the Clause (a) of sub-clause (iv) of Art 371(A) which says that “no Act of Parliament in respect of ownership and transfer of land and its resources, shall apply to the State of Nagaland unless the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland by a resolution so decides”. NTC said that under this provision, the law framing body which is the State Legislative Assembly has every power at its disposal to make or review any law suiting and developmental friendly in Nagaland.
NTC pointed out that under the article, a law pertaining to ownership of land in Nagaland was enacted under the title “The Nagaland Land and Revenue Regulation (Amendment) Act of 1978” and in section 2(2) “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any law, usage, contract or agreement no person (other than the indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland) shall acquire or possess by transfer, exchange, lease, agreement of settlement of any land in any area or areas constituted into belts or blocks in contravention of the provisions of Sub-Section(1)”.
NTC said the State government can conveniently make laws and frame rules on land use in the interest of development and whatever hitches related to land issue can be tackled by the administration. Therefore NTC said that such “hiccups” cannot be considered roadblocks to developments, but branding the Article as “impediment” was itself an excuse for “development stagnation”.