Nagaland Govt Struggles to Resettle Displaced Sumi Community

The displaced Sumi community members from Seyochung village in Kiphire district, Nagaland, continue to face an uncertain future as the state government grapples with implementing court orders for their resettlement.

On 19 April 2024, the Nagaland government informed the Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court that the transfer of the previous Home Commissioner Abhijit Sinha and the imposition of the Model Code of Conduct for the Parliamentary Election have hindered the execution of the court’s directive.

Court Addresses Contempt Petition

The court has been addressing a contempt of court petition related to this issue since October 2019. In December 2023, it instructed the Chief Secretary and Home Commissioner to explain the non-compliance with the November 2018 orders to resettle the Sumis.

Despite a meeting convened in February 2024 among stakeholders, including the United Sangtam Likhum Pumji (USLP), Eastern Sumi Hoho (ESH), and District Administration, no consensus was reached due to the sensitive nature of the case.

Also Read: Kohima’s seafood scene transformed by Enchanted Quest

Dispute Between Sumi and Sangtam Tribes

The dispute in Seyochung village involves the Sumi and Sangtam tribes. In November 2018, the court directed authorities to pass appropriate orders within three months based on the recommendations of a one-man Enquiry Committee.

The committee suggested two options: providing security for Sumis to return and establishing a separate area and place of worship for them in the village, or, if peaceful coexistence is not possible, allowing the displaced Sumis to settle elsewhere while retaining certain privileges in Seyochung.

Also Read: Kohima Science College Promotes Mental Health Awareness

Government’s Failure to Comply

However, the government failed to comply with the court’s 2018 order. In March 2024, the court warned of initiating contempt proceedings if its order is not followed by the next hearing on 22 April.

The Sumi community members have remained displaced from Seyochung for several years, with no resolution in sight. The government’s inaction and procedural delays have prolonged their plight.

Challenges Faced by Displaced Communities

The situation in Seyochung highlights the challenges faced by displaced communities in the region. The prolonged absence of a resolution not only affects the lives of the displaced Sumis but also emphasises the need for swift and effective action by the authorities to address such issues.

As the legal proceedings continue, the hope for a fair and peaceful resolution remains alive among the affected community members.

Also Read: Tuensang Village and Sumi Youth Organization Stand with ENPO, ENWO and ENSF in Pursuit of Frontier Nagaland

Government’s Responsibility

The Nagaland government must prioritise finding a solution that ensures the safe return of the displaced Sumis to their homes or provides them with a suitable alternative arrangement.

The court’s intervention and the pressure it exerts on the government to act upon its orders are crucial in pushing for a resolution. However, the sensitivity of the case and the need for consensus among all stakeholders cannot be overlooked.

Upholding the Rights of the Displaced

As the state navigates through this complex issue, it is essential to keep the well-being and rights of the displaced community at the forefront. The Sumi community members deserve a swift and just resolution that allows them to rebuild their lives and move forward.

The government must demonstrate its commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring the protection of its citizens, regardless of their tribal affiliations.

The displaced Sumis of Seyochung village continue to wait for a resolution to their plight, hoping that the government will take decisive action to address their concerns and provide them with the justice they deserve.

Spread the love