Nagaland: Committee sets March 31 as deadline for implementing RIIN

Kohima, Mar 19 (PTI): The Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI) on Friday set March 31 as the deadline for the Nagaland government to make necessary laws for implementing RIIN – a register of all the indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland.

The state government had in 2019 said that RIIN is required to prevent issuance of indigenous inhabitant certificates to ineligible persons.

Irked over delay in implementation of the recommendations of the Banuo Z Jamir Commission on RIIN, which was reportedly submitted to the government in October 2020, the JCPI held rallies in Kohima and Dimapur during the day.

The JCPI also submitted a representation on “Demand for immediate implementation of RIIN exercise through an ordinance” which was addressed to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio.

The representation was signed by its convenor Atomi Sumi and secretary Tia Longchar along with representatives from Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) and leaders of other tribal organisations.

“It is pertinent to enforce Inner Line Permit (ILP) and other protective laws of the land which are of paramount importance for smooth governance and effective implementation of the existing laws to protect our culture, identity and economy from outside threats,” they said in the representation.

Appreciating the initiative of the state government for constituting the Banuo Z Jamir Commission on RIIN, the JCPI said, the commissions report was reportedly rectified and approved by the state Cabinet to make necessary laws for state-wide exercise of RIIN.

This was being done to maintain a real time Indigenous Inhabitants master list and prevent issuance of fake indigenous inhabitants certificates (IIC).

“We are made to understand that after the process is completed, all genuine indigenous inhabitants will own the certificate with Unique ID leading to invalidation of existing IIC. After the final publication of the master list, except for persons born to indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland, no fresh IIC will be issued.

“Such persons born will be enrolled in the RIIN database after due identification of birth certificate with intimation to village, ward and district authorities after which the data will be updated every five years,” they said in the representation.

The efforts will provide clear cut identification of the residents in the state for maintaining their identity, culture and privileges as enshrined in the Constitution.

Article 371A of the Constitution states that no act of Parliament shall apply to the state of Nagaland in respect of the religious or social practices of the Nagas, its customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice involving decisions according to Naga customary law and ownership and transfer of land and its resources.

It shall apply to Nagaland only after the state Assembly passes a resolution to do so.

Once RIIN classification is completed and specific laws are legislated, the full protection and privileges is expected to reach the deserving stakeholders, the JCPI said.

“Without RIIN, our birthright will be lost forever, we will be reduced to secondary citizens in our own land,” it said.

The economy of the state is virtually “driven by non- indigenous traders” and state politics is “dictated by non- indigenous people”, it said.

According to a notification of June 29, 2019, the RIIN will help identify the citizens who settled in Nagaland prior to December 1, 1963, the day it became a full-fledged state.