Rights

Civil Society Condemns Centre's Move to Bar Naga Rights Activist From Travelling Abroad

The general secretary of the Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights Neingulo Krome was to board a flight to Bangkok from Kolkata’s International Airport on February 5.

New Delhi: Well known rights activist and general secretary of the Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), Neingulo Krome, was barred from leaving the country at the Kolkata airport due to orders from the central government. The news has garnered severe outrage from across Nagaland.

Krome was to board a flight to Bangkok from Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport on February 5.

Local news reports, quoting Krome, said he was travelling to Bangkok for a meeting. “They cleared my passport. But all of a sudden, the two officials came and told me to wait in a corner. I waited for quite some time. Then they came and informed me that they had received instruction to cancel my travel. They escorted me outside,” Krome told the Morung Express.

“I had already received my boarding pass, and cleared my passport but before I could reach the immigration, they stopped me which means somebody must have been watching me,” Krome said.

The news report said Krome expressed shock over the incident which he termed “unexpected” as the immigration had cancelled his flight for the first time.

Krome has been vocal about the Naga movement and has spoken at many national and international fora. In September 2019, Krome was one of the speakers to address a protest rally held in New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, demanding that the Centre gave the Nagas an “honourable solution” under the impending Naga Accord after the Centre gave the negotiators three month’s time to accept an agreement without a separate flag and a constitution.

Watch | The Naga Question: Insurgency, Ceasefire and the Peace Process

Krome had told The Wire then that, “During Vajpayee’s time, we [the Nagas represented by the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland – NSCN-Isak-Muivah] had signed an agreement [with New Delhi] and were told that we are unique people. We are grateful to this kind of interest always [by New Delhi]. But after Narendra Modi came, he said big words, made big promises [a framework agreement was signed with the Centre in 2015]. Now [the Centre] gives us three months to accept an imposed solution, without a flag and without a constitution. What is the meaning of this? Therefore, I conclude by saying that it is better to die in dignity than to live with humiliation.”

On February 7, as many as 160 civil society activists and academics from across the country issued a joint statement condemning the Centre’s action. The statement said, “Krome was told that he is not allowed to travel abroad as per the orders of the ‘government.’ There was no additional clarification offered to him nor any list shown with his name.”

“We are certain that by not allowing the leader of one of India’s oldest human rights organisations to travel abroad, GOI has made yet another statement about their intolerance and arrogance. But additionally, we are also concerned that it is also in many ways an open attack on the Naga people’s rights, amidst a 23-year-old peace process and ceasefire.’

The statement further pointed out that the de-boarding of Krome was preceded by “several cases that Government agencies have been slapping on Naga people. A few civil society leaders and NSCN cadres (National Socialist Council of Nagaland, the signatory to the framework agreement with Modi government) have been framed under UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) and are languishing in jails.”

The full text of the statement has been reproduced below.

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We the concerned people, mass organisations and peace, human rights groups condemn the silent but targeted attack by Government of India and its agencies on the Naga civil society leaders and the leaders of the NSCN.

Mr. Neingulo Krome, Secretary General of Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), was illegally and unlawfully de-boarded from a Kolkata-Bangkok flight on 5th February 2020, by the immigration authorities at Kolkata. He was told that he is not allowed to travel abroad as per the orders of the ‘Government’. There was no additional clarification offered to him nor any list shown with his name.

We are certain that by not allowing the leader of one of India’s oldest human rights organisations to travel abroad, GoI has made yet another statement about their intolerance and arrogance. But additionally, we are concerned that it is also in many ways an open attack on the Naga people’s rights, amidst a 23 year old peace process and ceasefire. Despite having signed the ‘framework agreement’ with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (I-M) in 2015, Government of India is yet to concretise or publicise the details of the document. The insult to dignity and denial of travel rights for the NPMHR leader is yet another sign of GoI’s disrespect towards and backtracking from the ceasefire and the framework agreement. We are worried that the Government of India, while battling without an escape route in the siege in Jammu & Kashmir, is opening another war front in the Northeast region.

The illegal and unlawful de-boarding of Mr. Krome is preceded by several cases that Government agencies have been slapping on Naga people. A few civil society leaders and NSCN cadres have been framed under UAPA and are languishing in jails.

Mr. Krome was a key speaker at the NAPM biennial held at Puri, a couple of months back and at the Democratic Rights Convention in Delhi in Sep 2019. He is an important and committed human rights defender from the region and he leads one of the most respected HR organisations, world over.

We condemn this act of the Government and demand that he be allowed to travel. We also demand that the Government respect the spirit and letter of the peace process and desist from the witch-hunt against Naga people and their leaders.

Signed on the 7th February 2020

By

Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan & National  Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
Syeda Hameed, Former Member, Planning Commission, New Delhi
Tapan Bose, Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace & Democracy
Aruna Roy, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan & NAPM.
Dr. Sunilam, NAPM
Ashok Choudhary, All India Union of Forest Working People, Uttar Pradesh
Anand Mazgaonkar, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Gujarat
T. Peter, National Fishworkers Forum, Kerala
John Dayal, Analyst and author, New Delhi
Prafulla Samantara, Lok Shakti Abhiyan; Odisha
Lingraj Azad, Samajwadi Jan Parishad & Niyamgiri
Vijayan MJ, PIPFPD, New Delhi
Meera Sanghamitra, NAPM
Rita Manchanda, Research Scholar, New Delhi
Roma, AIUFWP
Gauhar Siraj
Prof. Sushil Khanna, Academic, Kolkata
Sushoba Barve, Social and peace activist
Dayamani Barla, Aadivasi-Moolnivasi Astivtva Raksha Samiti, Jharkhand
Gabriele Dietrich, Tamil Nadu
Penn Urimay Iyakkam, Madurai
Geetha Ramakrishnan, Unorganised Sector Workers Federation: Tamil Nadu
Priya Pillai, Environmentalist
Manoranjan Mohanty, Academic and Author, New Delhi
Haris Kidwai, New Delhi
Jatin Desai, Senior Journalist, Mumbai
Sandeep Pandey, Uttar Pradesh
Richa Singh, Sangatin Kisaan Mazdoor Sangathan; Uttar Pradesh
Arundhati Dhuru, Uttar Pradesh
Adv. Clifton D’Rozario, Manthan Law, Bangalore
Dinesh Mohan, Academic, New Delhi
Dunu Roy, Researcher and writer, New Delhi
Aswathy Padmasenan, The Research Collective, New Delhi
Adv. Aradhna Bhargava, Madhya Pradesh
Rajkumar Sinha, Chutka Parmaanu Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti.
Nikhil Dey & Shankar Singh, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) & National Campaign for People’s Right to Information
Kavita Srivastava, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL);
Kailash Meena, NAPM, Rajasthan
P. Chennaiah, Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union-APVVU
Ramakrishnam Raju, United Forum for RTI and NAPM
Chakri (Samalochana)
Balu Gadi (RSV)
Bapji Juvvala, NAPM Andhra Pradesh;
Kamayani Swami, JJSS, Bihar
Ashish Ranjan, Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan, NAPM
Mahendra Yadav, Kosi Navnirman Manch, NAPM
Sister Dorothy, Aashray Abhiyan
Gautam Bandopadhyay, Nadi Ghati Morcha; Chhatisgarh
Kaladas Dahariya, RELAA
Rajendra Ravi, National Cyclists Union, New Delhi
Bhupender Singh Rawat, Jan Sangharsh Vahini
Anjali Bharadwaj & Amrita Johri, Satark Nagrik Sangathan
Sanjeev Kumar, Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch
Anita Kapoor, Delhi Shahri Mahila Kaamgaar Union
Sunita Rani, National Domestic Workers Union
Nanhu Prasad, National Cyclists Union
Madhuresh Kumar, NAPM
Aryaman Jain, New Delhi
Divyansh Khurana, New Delhi
Evita Das, New Delhi
Anil TV, Delhi Solidarity Group
Swati Desai, Gujarat
Krishnakant, Gujarat
Parth, Gujarat
Nita Mahadev, Gujarat
Mudita, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Lok Samiti, Gujarat
Dev Desai, Gujarat
Mujahid Nafees, Gujarat
Ramesh Tadvi, Gujarat
Aziz Minat, Gujarat
Bharat Jambucha
Faisal Khan, Haryana
Khudai Khidmatgar, Haryana
J S Walia, Haryana
Basant Hetamsaria, Jharkhand
Aloka Kujur, Jharkhand
Dr. Leo A. Singh, Jharkhand
Afzal Anish, Jharkhand
Sushma Biruli, Jharkhand
Durga Nayak, Jharkhand
Jipal Murmu, Jharkhand
Priti Ranjan Dash, Jharkhand
Ashok Verma, Jharkhand
Sister Celia, Domestic Workers Union;  Karnataka
Maj Gen (Retd) S.G.Vombatkere, Karnataka
Nawaz, Karnataka
Dwiji, Karnataka
Nalini, KRRS, Karnataka
Suniti SR, Maharashtra
Suhas Kolhekar, Maharashtra
Prasad Bagwe, Maharashtra
Bilal Khan, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Mumbai
Sanjay Mangala Gopal, Maharashtra
Mukta Srivastava, NAPM Maharashtra
Yuvraj Gatkal, NAPM Maharashtra
Chetan Salve, NBA & NAPM Maharashtra
Jameela, GBGB.
Geetanjali Chavan, Maharashtra
Suraksha Samiti, Odisha
Manorama Khatua, Ant-Posco Movement, Odisha
Lingaraj Pradhan, Odisha
Satya banchor, Odisha
Anant, Odisha
Kalyan Anand, Odisha
Arun Jena, Odisha
Trilochan Punji, Odisha
Lakshimipriya Mohanty and Balakrishna Sand, Odisha
Manas Patnaik, Odisha
Guruwant Singh, Punjab
Suthanthiran, Tamil Nadu
Arul Doss, Tamil Nadu
Jeevan Kumar & Syed Bilal (Human Rights Forum), Telangana
P. Shankar (Dalit Bahujan Front), Telangana
Vissa Kiran Kumar & Kondal (Rythu Swarajya Vedika),Telangana
Ravi Kanneganti (Rythu JAC), Telangana
Ashalatha (MAKAAM), Telangana
Krishna (Telangana Vidyavantula Vedika-TVV)
M. Venkatayya (Telangana Vyavasaya Vruttidarula Union-TVVU)
Rajesh Serupally
Vilayodi Venugopal, Kerala
CR Neelakandan, Kerala
Prof. Kusumam Joseph, Kerala
Sharath Cheloor, Kerala
Vijayaraghavan Cheliya, Kerala
Majeendran, Kerala
Magline, Kerala
Rajeev Yadav, Rihai Manch, Uttar Pradesh
Suresh Rathaur, Uttar Pradesh
Arvind Murti, Uttar Pradesh
Satish Singh, Uttar Pradesh
Jagriti Rahi, Uttar Pradesh
Altamas Ansari, Uttar Pradesh
Zainab Khatun, Uttar Pradesh
Rambeti, Uttar Pradesh
Nakul Singh Sawney, Uttar Pradesh
Mashiuddin, Uttar Pradesh
Vimal Bhai, Matu Jan sangathan; Uttrakhand
Jabar Singh, Uttrakhand
Uma, Uttrakhand
Samar Bagchi, West Bengal
Binayak Sen, West Bengal
Sujato Bhadro, West Bengal
Pradip Chatterjee, West Bengal
Pasarul Alam, West Bengal
Amitava Mitra, West Bengal
Tapas Das, West Bengal
Tahomina Mandal, West Bengal
Pabitra Mandal, West Bengal
Kazi Md. Sherif, West Bengal
Biswajit Basak, West Bengal
Ayesha Khatun, West Bengal
Rupak Mukherjee, West Bengal
Milan Das, West Bengal
Asit Roy, West Bengal
Mita Bhatta, West Bengal
Yasin, West Bengal
Matiur Rahman, West Bengal
Baiwajit Basak, West Bengal
Amit Kumar-Student, Faculty of Law, Delhi University
Sathish Kumar, General Secretary, socialist workers Centre, Tamilnadu
Sundara Babu, Researcher, Tamil Nadu
Vinod Koshy, Dynamic Action, Kerala
Poonam -General secretary, Pragatisheel Mahila sangathan Delhi
Dr Mrigank, IFTU Delhi Committee