States Round Up Issue-01 July to September 2010 Index Page
Full version of the report

Nagaland



I. Highlight: Increased extortion during cessation of hostilities

There were reports of sharp rise in extortion and abduction by the armed opposition groups (AOGs) since the cessation of all hostilities between Naga separatist groups especially in Dimapur and Kohima since 2008. [1] In Kohima, businessmen, government employees and the public had to pay so-called taxes to five AOGs in the State – National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM), National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Kaplang (NSCN-K), Naga National Council-Adinno (NNC-A), Naga National Council (Senka) and Federal Government of Nagaland (FGN, Singnya). These outfits collect taxes from time to time apart from yearly tax from businessmen, government departments, contractors and suppliers. Government employees had to pay yearly taxes ranging from 5 per cent to 25 per cent, while contractor and suppliers had to pay certain percentage. For instance, the NSCN (I-M) deducts 25 per cent as yearly tax from the government employees and the NSCN (K) deducts 20 per cent. [2]

Apart from businessmen and government servants, every household has to pay a yearly tax of Rs 100 to the outfits. At the New Field gate, Dimapur armed groups collect taxes under the very nose of the policemen manning the gate. Trucks had to pay Rs 4,000 to the NSCN (I-M) and Rs 2,500 to the NSCN (K) as entry taxes while FGN charges Rs 5,000 as a yearly tax per truck. The district administration, Dimapur stated that apart from armed groups, about 12 different organisations collect taxes from trucks, commercial vehicles and business establishments. [3]

Since the last part of 2007, over 20 businessmen have been abducted and killed in and around Dimapur, while over 100 non-Naga businessmen have been forced to flee Dimapur. [4]

II. Violations of civil and political rights

There were reports of human rights violations by the security forces.
On 10 September 2010, Nazimuddin (25 years) died due to alleged torture during police remand at the East Police Station in Dimapur. The deceased and four others were remanded to police custody at the East Police Station in Dimapur on 9 September 2010. The police claimed that the deceased committed suicide with a piece of clothing from the ventilation bars of the toilet. However, the deceased’s relatives alleged that Nazimuddin died due to torture as there were signs of torture marks and dried blood on the neck, mouth and legs. They alleged that the deceased was subjected to electric shocks as indicated by marks in the private parts of the deceased. They further alleged that the other four persons who were brought along with the deceased were also tortured. [5]

On 6 July 2010, several persons were injured during a clash with the villagers and CRPF at Merapani town, located in the disputed D sector along the Assam-Nagaland boundary. The clash started over reconstruction of houses that were damaged in a fire a few days back. The CRPF personnel argued that work should be stopped immediately since the owner of the house, Rajesh Singh, had not taken permission for construction from the border magistrate as is mandatory in the disputed Assam-Nagaland border areas. [6]

III. Denial of ESCRs in disputed areas

There were reports of violations of the economic, social and cultural rights of the Lothas, a sub-tribe of the Nagas living at Yanpha village in Wokha district. The village having a population of about 1000 persons is a disputed area between Nagaland and Assam. After the 1972 Sundaram Committee Report on the Assam-Nagaland border dispute “Border Magistrates” were created by both the state governments to
address the border problem. Subsequently, the Government of India deployed the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) as “neutral force” and a CRPF post was established at the Yanpha village. [7]

However, instead of bringing peace the deployment of the CRPF personnel resulted in harassment and denial of economic, social and cultural rights to the Yanpha villagers.

The villagers are not being allowed to build houses without getting a permit from the Border Magistrate. But even if the permit is obtained from the Border Magistrate, the CRPF personnel prevented the villagers from undertaking any construction, including toilets and approach roads under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).

The CRPF personnel posted at Yanpha village allegedly prevented the villagers from rearing of domestic animals and poultry. Anybody found rearing domestic animals and poultry were allegedly harassed by the CRPF personnel.

The villagers were also being prevented from collecting fire wood from the nearby forests on the ground that it is a “reserved forest” although no such official notification exists. The CRPF personnel even allegedly prevented parents from sending rice and firewood to their children studying in Dimapur (one hour journey by bus from the village).

The situation continued to be same for Yanpha villagers as in September 2010. However, illegal immigrants were allegedly allowed by the CRPF to collect forest products and freely move and trade in the area. [8]

IV. Violations of the right to religion

The minority Catholic community in Nagaland village was allegedly facing persecution, from the rival denomination for practising their faith.
On 20 July 2010, the Catholic Association of Nagaland submitted a memorandum to the Governor of Nagaland to intervene and protect their fundamental right of religion and faith. The alleged resolutions adopted on 18 March  2010, among others, stated that only Baptist Christian denomination would be allowed in the village and  Rs 50,000 would be fined  on those ‘who  bring other religion/denomination’ to the village. The resolution further stated that defaulters’ moveable and immovable properties would be seized and defaulters expelled from the village.  The Catholic community of Kiphire had submitted a reminder to the Deputy Commissioner of Kiphire on 12 May 2010 asking him to take preventive measures. However, the district administration failed to act on the request, which led to the incident of Anatongre village. On 9 July 2010, a Catholic Church was destroyed following the alleged resolutions passed by the Village Council at Anatorgre village in Kiphire district. [9]

Endnotes:
1. Extortion up in Nagaland, The Telegraph, 26 September 2010
2. Ibid
3. Ibid
4. Ibid
5. Complaint of Asian Centre for Human Rights to National Human Rights Commission, 13 September 2010
6. Residents clash with CRPF, The Telegraph, 7 July 2010
7. Complaint of Asian Centre for Human Rights to National Human Rights Commission, 13April 2010
8. ‘CRPF terrorize Naga border village Yanpha’, The Morung Express, 10 October 2010
9. Governor’s urgent intervention sought, The Morung Express, 21 July 2010
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