`State has the right to reg­u­late oil and gas'

Down to Earth - - COVER STORY -

Naga com­mu­ni­ties say the state is try­ing to gain con­trol over the vast re­serves of oil and gas trapped un­der their land. In an in­ter­view to Down

ToEarth, Chief Min­is­ter T R ZELIANG re­sponds to al­le­ga­tions against him­self and the state Com­mu­nity lead­ers say the state has mis­used Ar­ti­cle 371-A to sub­vert their rights and ex­ploit oil re­sources. The spe­cial Ar­ti­cle safe­guards the rights of Naga peo­ple as per their cus­tom­ary laws and gov­erns trans­fer of land and its re­sources. No Cen­tral law can im­pinge upon th­ese rights with­out the ap­proval of the state Assem­bly. So, the Na­ga­land gov­ern­ment has the right to reg­u­late oil and gas by for­mu­lat­ing its own Na­ga­land Pe­tro­leum and Nat­u­ral Gas Rules. There is no ques­tion of mis­us­ing Ar­ti­cle 371-A or sub­vert­ing com­mu­ni­ties' rights by for­mu­lat­ing the rules. It was pre­pared after

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