A committee comprising representatives from civil society organizations, 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.
The committee said Dimapur so long was out of the purview of inner-line permit 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 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 is done by the end of the current year.
The JCPI voiced deep concern that if those who failed to get their names in the NRC in Assam, they may decide to seek citizenship in neighbouring states, including Nagaland.
The committee pointed out that the Naga civil society groups and NGOs have been observing the complacent attitude of the government in dealing with such matters such as preventive mechanism on entry of illegal migrants and identification of illegal settlers already in 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.
In this connection, the JPCI urged upon the government to boost morale of the enforcers through proper training and reorientation with legal strategy.
It also urged the state government to strengthen implementation of prevailing ILP and immediately issue operational guidelines to the enforcers such as disabling ILP holders residing in ILP zone from renewing permit after expiry without first going/moving out of the ILP zone.
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 or non-indigenous people.
The JCPI also urged the state government to issue notification to village councils and urban wards/colonies to assist state agencies to enforce the BEFR Act, particularly in the border and vulnerable areas and to maintain strict round-the-clock vigil.
It suggested that state authorities issue notifications directing village authorities and gaon burhas/licensing authorities such as regional transport authorities and municipal /town councils not to issue residential certificate/permanent resident certificate/driving license/trade license to anyone without establishing the antecedents of the applicants.
In order to formulate cohesive and collective measures for prevention of inter-state influx of illegal immigrants, the JCPI urged the state government to tie up with neighbouring states.
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.