The Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI) on Friday said it will not allow any entity, not even the government, to derail the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) exercise.
In a representation to Nagaland chief secretary Temjen Toy, the committee expressed its support for implementation of the register in the entire state.
The committee said it was on expected line that there would be questions and outcry from various quarters on the matter.
It termed the consultative meeting, called by the state government, with civil society organisations on the creation of the register in Kohima on July 17 as “timely” but noted that the failure of the government to address the status of the Nagas from other states as well as genuine Indian citizens under the exercise in a clear term and transparent manner has given way to fear-mongering and confusions.
The committee, as a pressure group spearheading the inner-line permit (ILP) bandwagon, said it was compelled to submit its viewpoints to the government on the twin issues.
“The JCPI is unequivocally clear in its view that the RIIN exercise is being carried out by the government to simplify implementation of ILP in its entirety so that the distinct culture, ethos and character of the Naga people are protected from intrusive alien elements and any deviation from this for dubious purpose, including privacy, infringement, sharing of data with outside agencies etc., shall be serious breach of trust,” the representation said.
The committee observed that it is imperative for the government to spell out its position to dispel confusions once and for all.
It noted that there are three kinds of people who reside in the state – indigenous, Indian citizens from other states but domiciled in the state and people of doubtful origin residing in the state.
According to the committee, in order to bring Dimapur under ILP regulation and for its effective implementation in the entire state, the state needs to identify, classify and enumerate all the three classes of people.
It added that without this, the policy to ILP coverage in Dimapur and the state would be a useless exercise.
“After the due classification is over, people of doubtful origin (illegal Bangladeshi immigrants) can be identified and deported from the ILP zone called Nagaland and Indian citizens from other states domiciled here allowed to live and earn with certain restrictions,” the committee suggested.
It upheld the 1977 state government notification on indigenous tribes and inhabitants that only indigenous people can live, work and earn in the ILP zone.
“However, except for notified indigenous STs such as Naga tribes and two non-Naga tribes, other indigenous inhabitants cannot be issued ST certificate nor allowed to hold public office except under Dimapur-I Assembly constituency,” it said.
Noting that Nagaland is home to lakhs of people, the committee said majority of the Nagas from other states settled in the state post 1963, the year when Nagaland got statehood.
The committee said it is clear that they cannot be given indigenous nor ST status in Nagaland.