Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has written to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, saying the citizenship bill is not applicable to the State as it is protected under Article 371 (A) of the Constitution. The Cabinet deliberated on the matter in view of the citizenship bill being passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8 and its consequent impact on Nagaland and other north-eastern States.
The Chief Minister has also written to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, conveying the concern and apprehension of the people of Nagaland regarding the bill, the release said.
A Cabinet meeting, chaired by Rio, on Friday asserted that the state is protected under provisions of Article 371 (A) and the Inner Line Permit (ILP) as per Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, (BEFR) of 1873, a release issued by the Chief Minister’s Office said on Sunday.
The article deals with special provisions with respect to Nagaland. It states that no act of Parliament with respect to religious or social practices of the Nagas, Naga customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law, ownership and transfer of land and its resources, shall apply to the State unless the Legislative Assembly by a resolution so decides.
The State Cabinet, during the meeting, also decided to appeal to the Centre to have wider consultations with all north-eastern States to ensure that rights of indigenous people are fully protected.