MHA seeks clarification from Nagaland government on its decision to implement NRC-like exercise in state

The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought clarification from the government of Nagaland about its recent decision to extend Inner Line Permit system to Dimapur and to implement an NRC-like exercise named Register of Indigenous Inhabitants Certificates of Nagaland, said high level sources in the state government.

“Today, we had a discussion with ministry officials on the issue of possible hiccups in implementing the Inner Line Permit system to Dimapur. The ministry will send further queries to the government of Nagaland,” Temjen Toy, chief secretary to the government of Nagaland, told Firstpost after the briefing he gave to ministry officials in Delhi.

Sources in the government of Nagaland also confirmed that clarification has also been sought on implementation of RIIN.

 MHA seeks clarification from Nagaland government on its decision to implement NRC-like exercise in state

Representational image. AFP

On 29 June, the government of Nagaland issued a notification announcing its decision to set up a Register of Indigenous Inhabitants Certificates of Nagaland and launch an extensive survey of the indigenous inhabitants in the state.

The RIIN is seen as the state’s own version of the much controversial NRC update going on in its neighbouring state of Assam.

As per this notification, the new mechanism RIIN would prepare a list of all the indigenous people residing in the state after an extensive survey. According to the notification, the list of indigenous inhabitants will be completed within 60 days, with an immediate effect from 10 July.

Simultaneously, the state government has taken a decision to extend the Inner Line Permit system to Dimapur district of Nagaland.

The Inner Line Permit system, which is already in force in all the districts of Nagaland other than Dimapur, is a travel document required to be obtained by any traveler going into any protected zone in the bordering states.

The system of Inner Line Permit exists in the bordering states as Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh apart from Nagaland.

Since Dimapur in Nagaland was exempted from the system, there is fear among the Nagas that massive influx from Bangladesh has taken place in Dimapur and in its adjacent areas. The fear among the local population seems to have given rise to the need for both ILP and RIIN.

Though both the systems are independent of each other, completion of RIIN would help implementation of the ILP, said a source in the Nagaland government. “The digital data generated from the survey of indigenous population can be fed to the online ILP System. This would help monitoring of entry and exit of persons not belonging to Nagaland,” a source told Firstpost.

The Nagaland government has set 10 December as the deadline to complete the entire process of update of the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants, including disposal of claims and objections.

It is estimated that the extension of ILP to the district of Dimapur would be implemented by the same time. If this becomes a reality, any traveler going to Dimapur via train, air or road would have to take separate permission from the Nagaland government to enter the state. Dimapur homes an airport and a railway station.

The state government has not yet set a time-frame for implementing the ILP system as it requires nod from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The decision to implement the RIIN and the ILPs has caused insecurity among traders who are not indigenous to Nagaland.

The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party, which in alliance with the BJP rules the state, on Monday issued a press statement allaying its fears, where it stated, “The implementation of the ILP also does not mean that the non-Naga traders have to close down their businesses. The aspiration of the state government is to streamline the system, use modern technology for better implementation and also to take steps to check influx of illegal immigrants, combat crime and anti-social elements and ensure safety and security for all citizens.”

Updated Date: Jul 02, 2019 22:49:20 IST