Repeal of Article 370 Triggers Panic in Northeast; Former Mizoram CM Lal Thanhawla Alerts Citizens
According to articles 371-A and 371-G that grant special provisions to Nagaland and Mizoram, ownership and transfer of land shall apply to the states unless their respective legislative assemblies by a resolution decide otherwise.
Guwahati: The government’s move to abrogate Article 370 that grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir has created panic in the northeastern states of Nagaland and Mizoram protected under provisions of Article 371.
According to articles 371-A and 371-G that deal with special provisions with respect to Nagaland and Mizoram, ownership and transfer of land shall apply to the states unless their respective legislative assemblies by a resolution decide otherwise.
The Mizoram Congress called it a ‘Red Alert’ for people of the northeast. Former Mizoram chief minister and president of the Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) Lal Thanhawla took to Twitter to voice his concern.
RED ALERT to the people of NE. It has become a threat to states like Mizoram, Nagaland & Arunachal which are protected by the Consitution. If 35A and 370 are repealed, Article 371G, which safeguards the interests and existence of lesser tribals of Mizoram is under severe threat.— Lal Thanhawla (@LThanhawla) August 5, 2019
The People's Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) also condemned the move and issued a statement, urging the “indigenous people of northeast to prepare for the next move of the Indian Government”.
Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) general secretary K Sapdanga said, “Of course, people of Mizoram should be on high alert. At the same time, Article 370 was created on the basis of unilateral decision and the President can revoke at any time, while 371-G came into effect following the signing of a ‘peace accord’ between the Centre and Mizo National Front. Hence, it requires constitutional amendment to revoke it. But the kind of majority the government enjoys, it can do anything.”
A local student told News18 that such a thing would not happen in Mizoram as it is a peaceful state. “I don’t think they will do something similar in Mizoram. Jammu and Kashmir being a border state has always been tense. But ours is a peaceful state and we abide by the Constitution. In fact, we are safeguarded by the Constitution and the Central government,” said V Lalnuthara (25).
President of Naga Hoho Chuba Ozukum condemned the decision to repeal Article 370 and called it ‘undemocratic’. He also raised concern on the ongoing talks between Government of India and various Naga groups.
“We are worried as by withdrawing Article 370 from J&K, the government is undermining the minorities in India. I think it is very undemocratic. We have the same apprehension in Nagaland. Political negotiations are underway, but if the Government of India does the same thing in Nagaland, it is going to be detrimental.”
However, former Assam DGP Harekrishna Deka sought to allay such fears.
He said, “Kashmir was altogether a different matter and related to the Instrument of Accession. The special provisions made for Nagaland and Mizoram do not amount to effective autonomy, but limited autonomy of particular state subjects. And any amendment will need support of two-thirds majority of members present in both houses. These cannot be scrapped by a presidential order.”