Mizo Students' Union
Mizo Students' Union members stage pritest in front of ZMC. (File image)

AIZAWL: Mizo Students’ Union (MSU), one of the most influential and largest student bodies in Mizoram, on Wednesday asked a non-tribal contractor, who allegedly fraudulently acquired a scheduled tribe certificate from the state government 3 years back, to surrender the certificate to the issuing authority on or before February 18.

The students’ body warned to launch a search operation for the trader, who is now at large if he fails to surrender the certificate within a time frame.

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A press statement issued by the student body said that the non-tribal contractor, whose original name was Kamrul Laskar Uddin, changed his name to Kamlova Chhangte (a Mizo first name and clan name) and ST certificate was issued to him accordingly in June 2018 from the office of deputy commissioner of Aizawl district. 

Though it had appealed to Aizawl deputy commissioner in November last year to cancel the tribal certificate, measures could not be initiated due to the burning of the deputy commissioner’s office, the student body said.

The student body had also appealed to Uddin, who promised the student leaders that he will ask for cancellation on February 7, but failed to do so within the deadline citing he has an emergency, it said.

Uddin has been missing since February 7and he is not reachable over the phone since then, the student body said.

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Citing that the issuance of a tribal certificate to non-tribal is not safe for the indigenous Mizos, the student body said it would not simply ignore the matter.

It asked the non-tribal contractor to surrender the certificate to Aizawl deputy commissioner on or before February 18 failing which it would launch a search for him, it said.

Earlier, the Central Committee of the Young Mizo Association, the largest civil society group in Mizoram, had also demanded the cancellation of the Scheduled Tribe certificate issued to Uddin.

The organisation president R. Lalngheta had said that they will file a complaint to the state home minister against the issuance of Scheduled Tribe certificate to the man who now goes by the name Kamlova  Chhangte.

Uddin owns a construction farm at Thuampui locality in Aizawl. He is said to have married a Mizo woman and lives at Thuampui in Aizawl. 

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According to the ST certificate, the photo of which has gone viral on social media,  Kamlova  Chhangte’s father is Tlangchhuana Chhangte. 

There is an old Mizo custom known as Saphun which allows people from one clan to adopt the customs and practices of another clan. 

In such a case, a person from one clan, say Ralte, will be adopted into another clan, for example, Sailo. Then he can carry the Sailo clan name.  

This custom, however, has gradually died with the advent of Christianity in Mizoram and is no longer practiced. 

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Mizo Customary Law experts said the Saphun custom applies only between Mizo clans and a non-Mizo cannot become a Mizo under Saphun custom even it is still practiced. 

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