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Naga panel to check influx
Correspondent
 DIMAPUR, Aug 9 - Naga civil society organisations have formed a joint committee to check illegal immigration following publication of the final draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam on July 30.

The committee has been constituted to evolve logistical coordination and assist the State Government in formulating a standard operating procedure for effective implementation of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BERF) Act, 1873, under which there is provision for inner line permit (ILP). This was decided at a meeting convened by the Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) here on Wednesday.

According to a release issued by the NTC on Thursday, the meeting was attended by representatives of 29 civil society organisations of the State, including student bodies. The committee will have one member from each of the civil society organisations which participated in the meeting.

The meeting resolved to urge the State Government to gear up its entire machinery and bring out a comprehensive action plan to check illegal immigration. It was also decided to urge the Government to extend the BEFR Act, 1873, to the entire State, besides putting into place a comprehensive mechanism to monitor the Act and the Indian Passport Act under a standard operating procedure.

The State Government was further requested to create a separate cell under the Home Department to monitor strict enforcement of the BEFR Act, 1873, the Foreigners Act and the Indian Passport Act on a day-to-day basis.

The organisations stressed the need to reorient and equip the government agencies, including the Nagaland Police, with legal aspects for effective enforcement of the existing laws.

The meeting also expressed solidarity with the citizens of Assam with regard to the publication of the final draft NRC. It urged villages and urban colonies in Dimapur district and all vulnerable areas to maintain strict vigil. The village authorities were urged not to issue any residence or permanent residence certificate without ascertaining the antecedents of an applicant.

The meeting urged the apex tribal bodies, village councils and gaonburhas to closely monitor, supervise and check illegal entries into villages and colonies.

Meanwhile, the Naga Students’ Federation and the Angami Students’ Union jointly conducted verification of ILPs in Kohima on Wednesday to identify illegal immigrants.

NSF president Christopher Kesosul Ltu said the exercise was part of the first phase of its initiative to prevent influx into Nagaland.

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