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Nagaland NGOs demands steps to curb influx of immigrants
BHADRA GOGOI
 DIMAPUR, Aug 19 - A committee comprising representatives from civil society organisations, tribal Hohos, NGOs and pressure groups of Nagaland JPCI has demanded that the State Government extend Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873 to the entire State, especially Dimapur district, to curb influx of illegal immigrants into the State.

It said Dimapur so long was out of the purview of Inner-Line Permit (ILP) and if the district remains so it will continue as feeder district of illegal immigrants to interior areas of the State.

The committee named Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI) was formed recently under the aegis of Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC).

The committee urged upon the State Government to create a separate cell or a separate department under Home department to competently deal with strict enforcement of BEFR Act of 1873 and Foreigners Act 1946 on a daily basis.

In a release on Sunday, it expressed apprehension about the consequences of the ongoing NRC exercise in Assam where over 40 lakh people had been left out. It pointed out that out of the over 40 lakh, a substantial number could eventually be declared non-Indian citizens after the ongoing exercise by the end of the current year.

The JCPI voiced deep concern that those who failed to get their names in the NRC in Assam, may decide to seek citizenship in neighbouring States, including Nagaland.

The release said the JPCI at a meeting here on August 14 unanimously resolved to submit a representation to the State Government in order to reflect the voice and sentiments of the stakeholders related to the fundamental issue over influx of illegal immigrants.

The committee wanted that the ILP should differentiate between tourists, transit passengers and manual or skilled labourers and that it should be for a limited period of time.

It further pointed out that Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh are empowered by the BEFR Act to issue guidelines on entry of non-indigenous people.

The committee further impressed upon the State Government to establish Foreigner Tribunals under the Foreigners (Tribunals) Orders, 1964 and Foreigners Act, 1946, without which, the coverage and the legal system for effective enforcement of the laws would always be found wanting.

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