The Supreme Court on Thursday disposed of a plea seeking directions to the Centre and the states of Nagaland and Manipur to take appropriate steps to safeguard the freedom of movement of people belonging to the Mao tribe along National Highway number two in southern Nagaland, after it was informed that the problem has been resolved.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud that the Ministry of Home Affairs had interacted with the state government and now their movement was not hindered.
He told the bench, also comprising Justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala, about the instructions received from the Director (North-East division) of the MHA.
“Counsel for the petitioner submitted that though as a result of the intervention by this court at this stage the issue has been presently resolved, it was festering for over a decade as a consequence of which… movement of persons belonging to the tribe in question was being thwarted,” the bench said.
“Since at this stage the problem seems to have resolved, it is not necessary to keep the proceedings pending any further,” the apex court said.
While disposing of the plea, it granted liberty to the petitioner or any other aggrieved person to approach the chief secretary of Nagaland or, as the case may be, the Ministry of Home Affairs’ North-East division so that appropriate steps can be taken to resolve any recurrent issue.
The apex court was hearing a plea which had sought directions to the MHA and the states of Nagaland and Manipur to take appropriate steps to protect and safeguard the freedom of movement of people belonging to the Mao tribe along National Highway number two (erstwhile NH-39) in southern Nagaland.
Lingering disputes over forest land between the Maos and Angami Naga tribals had resulted in disruption in free movement of the former along the national highway.