A consultative meeting organised by the Nagaland government with legislators, tribal bodies and civil society organizations on July 17 concluded that proper policies and modalities be made public before fully carrying out the proposed exercise for creation of Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN).

According to official sources on July 18 in the wake of several oppositions against proposed creation of RIIN, the state government held a closed-door meeting with the legislators, tribal bodies and civil society organizations in Kohima. No media persons were allowed to enter the main gate of the Chief Minister’s Office.

Following the June 29 government notification to commence the RIIN exercise from July 10, mixed reaction of political parties, civil societies and tribal bodies in the state over its implementation was reported. While a section welcomed the RIIN notification, there were political parties including opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) and Congress and also tribal bodies like Naga Hoho and Naga Mothers’ Association, which opposed its implementation while some of the tribal bodies had asked for clarity of RIIN.

After threadbare deliberation of the subject for more than two hours, the tribal bodies and civil societies in principle came to a consensus to support RIIN, informed Naga Students’ Federation president Ninoto Awomi, who was present in the meeting.

Awomi said that the leaders of the major tribal bodies and civil society organizations, including Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation, Naga Mothers Association, Naga Students’, Eastern Nagaland Students Federation and Eastern Nagaland Women Organisation have agreed in principle to support the process. However, he said that during the meeting it was also resolved that the actual enumeration will not commence now. The government will come out with clear cut policies and modalities of RIIN before the conduct of enumeration of indigenous inhabitants of the state, he said.

The meeting also resolved that government will make public the policies and modalities for implementation of RIIN and only after all the stakeholders and the indigenous Naga public agrees to it enumeration will commence, Awomi added.

The meeting was chaired by Nagaland Chief Secretary Temjen Toy and introductory remarks were given by Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton. The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and his cabinet colleagues, Nagaland Assembly Speaker Vikho-o Yhoshu, Deputy Speaker Zhaleo Rio and members of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly, senior state government officials.

Tribal bodies attending the meeting were: Angami Public Organisation, Ao Senden, Chakhesang Public Organisation, Chang Kulei Setsang, Konyak Union, Khiamniungan Tribal Council, Lotha Hoho, Phom People Council, Pochury Hoho, Rengma Hoho, Sumi Hoho, Western Sumi Hoho, United Sangtam Likhum Pumji, Yimchunger Tribal Council, Zeliang People’s Organisation, Eastern Nagaland Peoples Organisation, Nagaland Tribes Council, Central Nagaland Tribes Council, Naga Mothers Association, Eastern Nagaland Women’s Organisation, Naga Students Federation, Eastern Naga Students Federation, Nagaland Gaon Burha’s Federation, Naga Council Dimapur, Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants and Senior Citizens Association of Nagaland.

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