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Nagaland anti-migrants’ body submits inputs for citizen register
Correspondent
 DIMAPUR, Sept 28 - The Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI) today submitted its inputs to the Commission on the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) in connection with the terms of reference of the register. The committee submitted the inputs as per a government notification issued on July 27.

The JCPI said it had arrived at the inputs after an exhaustive study and deliberations with tribal leaders. It added the inputs would be necessary to implement the RIIN in its totality.

The JCPI, which has been spearheading a movement on the inner-line permit (ILP) issue since last year said, “Any piecemeal exercise would be tragic and betrayal to our future generation.”

It asked the commission to recognise the fact that if the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR), 1873 is implemented in Dimapur and the hill districts in letter and spirit, no non-indigenous person can set up business in the State, let alone buy properties and live permanently.

Saying that this stringent provision has been violated in the past decades, the committee said the British India Government designed the BEFR, 1873 in such a manner that only indigenous people could live, work, earn, buy property and move around in the ILP areas.

It asked the commission to take a decision with regard to the lakhs of non-indigenous people in the State, with thousands having bought land and buildings, especially in the Dimapur area, in total violation of the Nagaland Land and Revenue (Amendment) Act, 1978.

The committee said the commission would have to enumerate the non-indigenous residents of the State under various categories in such a manner that the Government with certain restrictions may allow genuine Indian citizens to work, earn and live despite the ILP in Dimapur. This will help identify and deport illegal immigrants by the Government through the ILP mechanism, it said.

The JCPI also brought out some broad aspects on the RIIN. It said the cut-off year to determine the indigenous status of a person should be December 1, 1963.

“Our position on ‘native Naga’ or more commonly understood by the slogan ‘Nagas by blood’ should be studied in all seriousness by the commission,” it said. The JCPI said the commission should decide on the question “who is a Naga”.

“The legal definition of ‘who is a Naga’ is not acceptable – whether through customary law by way of conferring of so-called ‘citizenship’ or through procurement of legal documents,” the committee asserted. According to it, the one and the only definition of “who is a Naga” is someone who is born to true indigenous Naga parents.

The committee said the gaon buras (GBs) of Dimapur Sadar and urban area should not be empanelled by the district administration for assistance in the RIIN exercise under any circumstances.

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