Nagaland has decided to prepare a list of indigenous inhabitants of the state, The Hindu reported on Sunday. This is a variant of the National Register of Citizens that Assam is currently updating.
The state’s Home Commissioner R Ramakrishnan issued a notification on Saturday for establishing the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland with the aim of checking fake indigenous inhabitant certificates being issued, the Hindustan Times reported. The exercise will begin on July 10 and will be completed within 60 days.
The government has instructed district deputy commissioners to constitute teams that will conduct the exercise, and inform villages and tribal councils. The survey teams will visit each home and make a list of indigenous inhabitants living there. Each family member will be listed in the village of their original residence and the names of family members living elsewhere will also be noted. Aadhaar numbers will also be recorded wherever applicable.
The lists will be published in villages and wards, and it will be authenticated by village and ward authorities under the district administration’s supervision. Each list will then be signed by the survey team, and the village and ward authorities.
The provisional lists will be published on September 11. Officials will have till October 10 to settle claims and objections based on official records and evidence produced. Each indigenous inhabitant will be given a unique identification number. A final list will be prepared by December 10. The register will be updated every five years.
“Once the process is complete, all indigenous inhabitants will be issued indigenous inhabitant certificates, or IIC, and their existing IICs will become invalid,” said an unidentified state government official. “No fresh IICs will be issued once the process is over and only newborns of indigenous inhabitants will be given the said certificate and their names updated in the RIIN.”
In Assam, the National Register of Citizens has proved to be controversial as people have alleged bias against certain communities. The stated aim of the register is to separate genuine Indian citizens from undocumented immigrants living in the state. According to the terms, anyone who cannot prove that they or their ancestors entered the state before midnight on March 24, 1971, will be declared a foreigner. Last week, more than one lakh people were excluded from the draft National Register of Citizens.