Naga Tribes Oppose Oil Exploration on Community Land, State Appeals for Support

Reported by

Mhao Kikon

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

September 26, 2016

September 26, 2016

Updated on

September 26, 2016

Location of Conflict

Changpang

Wokha

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Petroleum and Gas

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

5300

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

1200

ha

Starting Year

1994

State

Nagaland

Sector

Industry

A threeway fight is on in Nagaland between the Central government, the state government and local communities to control land and its resources in the state's oil belt. The state is projected to have 600 million tonnes of oil and natural gas reserves, which, if fully exploited, could boost India's onshore oil and gas production by 75 per cent. The state government took over fields abandoned by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation in 1994 because of protests by Naga groups. Though oil exploration is usually governed by the Centre, Nagaland drafted its own policy Nagaland Petroleum and Natural Gas (NPNG) Regulations in 2012 to take control over oil. For this, it used Article 371A of the Constitution that guarantees no Central law pertaining to land and its resources would apply to Nagaland unless the state's Assembly ratifies it. The special provision was inserted in the Constitution as part of an agreement between Naga groups and the Central government at the time of the state's formation in 1963. Using the 2012 regulations, Nagaland allocated oil blocks to a private company, Metropolitan Oil and Gas Private Limited (MOGPL), in 2014 and worked out a revenuesharing model between the state government and land owners. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has opposed the state's policy from the time of the erstwhile Congressled alliance government at the Centre. A section of the Naga community has also opposed the NPNG regulations because they give a lion's share of the oil profit to the state government. The community claims that Article 371A gives undisputed rights over land and its resources to the Naga communities and not to the state government. In October 2015, the Kohima bench of the Gauhati High Court issued a stay order against the permit given to MOGPL, after Lotha Hoho, the apex tribal organisation of the Lotha Nagas, filed a public interest litigation citing inconsistencies in the process. In November 2018, the Nagas and the state government signed an MoU after the latter agreed to amend the NPNG Regulations and Rules, 2012. For several years after the MOGPL got the contract for oil exploration, work could not begin due to public opposition. However, on July 21, 2020, Nagaland Chief Minister T. R. Zeliang launched the resumption of oil exploration in Changpang and Tssori areas after a gap of 20 years, appealing to the people to extend support to the MOGPL.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Constitutional Law, Central/State Government Policy, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Constitution of India, 1950
Article 371-A(1)(a)(iv): [No Act of parliament regarding ownership and transfer of land will apply to Nagaland unless the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland by a resolution decides otherwise]
Nagaland Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules, 2012
16 Point Agreement between the Government of India and the Naga People’s Convention, dated July 26, 1960
Point 7: No Act or law passed by the Parliament affecting the provisions of the Agreement shall have legal force in Nagaland unless specially applied to it by a majority vote of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

No items found.

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Gauhati

Case Number

PIL No. 4 (K) of 2015

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

When the officials and volunteers of Lotha Students Union tried to stop the formal launch of MOGPL for oil extraction through peaceful means. the state government used its police force to lathi charge upon the volunteers of the students body and many students (volunteers) were heavily rained upon by those police using lathis at the behest of the state government.

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Geology and Mining Department, Cabinet Sub Committee for Nagaland Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulations, 2012

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Metropolitan Oil and Gas Private Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

DICE Foundation, Green Foundation, Lotha Students Union, Lotha Hoho

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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Reviewed By

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