What is Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland RIIN? - Seeker's Thoughts

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Tuesday, 2 July 2019

What is Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland RIIN?

What happens to the people who are in the end found to be on the wrong side of the Nagaland list? The right to appeal and a humane hearing should be in-built in this exercise.


Nagaland wanted to register citizens, like Assam, in form of Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN).  Assam did keep a National Register of Citizen (NRC), that lead to a mixed result. Nagaland faced protest, and many people suffered due to missing links to prove that they were citizens of Assam.

The NRC experiment in Assam witnessed extremely divisive political trends. This divisive political trend can start in other North- Eastern states as well, leaving many people homeless, and alienated.

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Emotive political issues cannot be allowed to drive the compiling of a registry of citizens.

Bangladesh has repeatedly suggested that the process going on in Assam is “an internal matter” of India, implying that there is no deportation possibility here
The decision to set up the RIIN was based on the recommendations of the Committee on Inner Line Permit report headed by Abhishek Singh (IAS), submitted to the state cabinet on February 15, 2019.


When will Nagaland register?

The process of registration starts from July 10th and the completion will be in lesser than 5 months by December 10, 2019.  The time to file claim and objection will be till October 2019.

What is Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN)?

The RIIN is a register of indigenous people of Nagaland. In other words, RIIN will be the master list of all indigenous inhabitant of Nagaland. It sounds simple, and Nagaland is considerably less populated than Assam.

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How will the RIIN be implemented?


§  RIIN is proposed to be prepared from an extensive survey- with the help of village wise and ward wise list of indigenous inhabitants based on official records. This will be prepared under the supervision of district administration.
§  RIIN will be prepared by designating teams for each village and ward. The team will include SDO (C) /EAC as chairman, BDO/UDO as a member, Headmaster of Government High School-to be nominated by DEO as a member, 2 Gaon Buras nominated by the Deputy Commissioner as members and 2 GPS/GMS/GHS teachers-nominated by DEO as members.

§  The designated teams will carry out house-to-house visit to make a list of indigenous inhabitants actually residing in the household. Each family member will be listed in the village of their original residence and mention will be made if the concerned member is actually residing in town or Kohima or Dimapur or elsewhere.
§  The format for making the list will mention “Permanent Residence and Present Residence” separately, while Aadhaar numbers, wherever available, will also be recorded.
§  The list of Indigenous Inhabitants will be published in the respective villages and wards which will then be authenticated by village and ward authorities under the supervision of the district administration.
§  The provisional lists prepared by the teams will then be published in the villages and wards and also on the websites of the district and the state government on September 11, 2019.
§  A period of 30 days (on or before October 10, 2019) will be given for any claims and objection after the publication of the provisional lists. The respective DCs will then adjudicate on the claims and objections– based on official records and evidence produced.

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What is the controversy about RIIN?

 Nagaland claims to have watched the process unfold in Assam, but Assam experience shows that in the complex demographics of the North-eastern States, it may not turn out that way. There were 40 lakh people left out of the NRC listing in Assam, which seemed aimed to filter out ‘illegal immigrants.

What happens to the people who are in the end found to be on the non-resident list of the Nagaland list? The right to appeal and a humane hearing should be in-built in this exercise.

In Nagaland, various local attempts have been made to determine non-locals, non-tribal and non-Nagas, and identify what some people refer to as the ‘Illegal Bangladeshi Immigrant’.

Two years ago, a town not farther than 15 km from Dimapur, the largest city and the commercial capital of the State, passed a resolution to place curbs on IBIs and devised ways to prevent them from integrating, living or trading in the town. When such is the situation on the ground, in an already volatile region where the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is routinely extended, it is best that Nagaland proceeds with caution in this enterprise.

The RIIN should not ultimately become a vehicle to make outsiders of insiders. Assam experiment has no clear end-point.

Other than deepening the existing fault-lines in its own State and rendering the situation even more volatile, it is unclear what the Nagaland government hopes to achieve through the exercise.

The NRC experiment in Assam witnessed extremely divisive political posturing. Other North-eastern states are sure to be watching with keen interest what is unfolding in Assam and Nagaland. Emotive political issues cannot be allowed to drive the compiling of a registry of citizens.

The entire process of NRC updating should be done in an impartial and transparent manner. All section of people should maintain peace during the process. Equal opportunity should be given to those persons whose names are not included in the draft. No one should be sent to detention camp or foreigners tribunal.

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What is NRC?

The national register of citizen (NRC) is the list of Indian citizen of Assam. It was prepared in 1951, following the census of 1951. For a person’s name to be included in the updated NRC list of 2018, he/she will have to furnish.

The process of NRC update was taken up in Assam as per supreme court order in 2013. In order to wean out cases of illegal migration from Bangladesh and other adjoining areas, NRC updating was carried out under the citizenship act, 1955, and according to rules framed in the Assam accord.

National Register of citizens is an exercise which was first carried out in 1951 to enumerate the citizens, their houses and holdings, Over the years, there has been a demand from the indigenous Assamese groups to update the NRC.

A pilot project was initiated at two places in 2010. In Barpeta, police action on an anti-NRC protest led to four deaths and the project was shelved. It resumed after the court's order from the supreme court. 

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