Nagaland chief minister invites penal provisions



Imphal: Accused of making a “seditious” and “communal” speech in Manipur, Nagaland Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang has in turn said it’s the government in Imphal that should be charged with sedition and communalism for passing three “anti-tribal” bills.

Reacting sharply to a Manipuri legislator reportedly filing a police complaint against him for calling for “Naga unification” — taken to imply disintegration of Manipur that is home to a significant Naga population, Zeliang said the three bills the Manipur assembly passed on August 31 last year could very well invite penal provisions against “sedition” and “communalism”.

Zeliang made the controversial speech on February 14 in Manipur during ‘Lui-Ngai-Ni,’ the traditional seed sowing festival of the Nagas living in the state.

He reportedly said Nagas were divided by artificial boundaries and that “historical forces can redraw state boundaries” — inviting widespread protests in the host state for interfering in the internal issue of Manipur and driving a wedge between different communities.

Laisom Ibomcha, a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator of Manipur, has reportedly registered a First Information Report with police against Zeliang under Sections 124A (sedition) and 153A (communalism) of the Indian Penal Code for the alleged inflammatory speech.