Nagaland to revive barbed cages for criminals

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Some villages in Nagaland are trying to revive a traditional form of punishment. It involves punishing the criminals by putting them into barbed cages.

About the Nagaland traditional form of punishment:

  • Villages in Nagaland practice a traditional form of punishment that punishes social offenders or violators of Naga customary laws. They put offenders into a triangular barbed cage that irritates the skin.
  • The cage is made of the logs of Masang-fung. It is a local tree that people avoid because of the irritation it causes.
  • These cages are referred to in Nagaland as khujli Ghar and in Nagamese as pidgin lingua franca.
  • The cage is usually placed at a central spot in the village, usually in full public view. Hence, the punishment is more of humiliation or loss of face within the community or clan than of spending at least a day inside the barbed cages without any space to move.

Article 371A – Nagaland

  • Article 371A of the Constitution states that no act of Parliament would apply to the state of Nagaland on the following matters
    • Religious or social practices of Nagas
    • Naga customary law and procedure
    • Administration of civil or criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law and
    • Ownership and transfer of land and its resources.
  • Exception: The Legislative Assembly of Nagaland must pass a resolution for an act to be applicable to the state.
  • Special Responsibilities: The Governor of Nagaland has special responsibility for law and order in the state. But this responsibility will extend as long as internal disturbances caused by the hostile Nagas continue. In the discharge of this responsibility, the Governor, after consulting the Council of Ministers should exercise his individual judgment and his decision is final.

Source: The Hindu


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