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Manipur, Mizoram pass bills fearing Assam influx after NRC

Nagaland takes up with MHA plan to have a ‘register of indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland’.

, ET Bureau|
Sep 19, 2019, 10.57 PM IST
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Agencies
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Centre has also directed the Nagaland government to set up foreigners’ tribunals, model detention centres and a robust IT enabled redress system before embarking on the process.
New Delhi: Manipur and Mizoram assemblies have passed legislations that bar non-residents from settling in the states. The move follows apprehension that there will be an exodus from Assam after the National Register of Citizens has been compiled.

Even as the two bills await the Presidential assent, Nagaland has taken up with the Union home ministry its plan of compiling a ‘register of indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland’ (RIIN), ET has learnt.

The Mizoram assembly unanimously passed the Maintenance of Household Registers Bill, 2019, on March 18, and sent it to the MHA, the nodal ministry for central scrutiny of state bills and obtaining Presidential assent. Mizoram shares over 700 km border with Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The law intends to provide a credible individual identification system and prevent non bona fide people from usurping benefits of developmental schemes. At the moment, government schemes tap ‘Aadhaar’ for identifying beneficiaries.

“Any state legislation is examined in consultation with central ministries and departments to overcome repugnancy with central laws, if any, deviation from national or central policy, and legal and constitutional validity,” said an official.

The Manipur People’s Protection Bill defines ‘Manipuris’ and ‘non-Manipuris’ and seeks to regulate entry and exit of the latter to protect interests of the former. The bill lists Meiteis, Pangal Muslims, listed Scheduled Tribes of state and Indian nationals living in Manipur before 1951 as ‘Manipuris’.

Most northeastern states are protected by ‘inner line permit’ a visitor to the state has to obtain, an official clarified . The Nagaland government, however, has highlighted ‘illegal immigration’ to propose RIIN, similar to Assam’s NRC during discussions with Union home ministry officials last month.

The central officials sought details on inner line permits and how RIIN would weed out illegal migrants. The Centre has also directed the Nagaland government to set up foreigners’ tribunals, model detention centres and a robust IT enabled redress system before embarking on the process.

Home minister Amit Shah had said in Ranchi on Wednesday a register to identify genuine citizens of India was needed. “We had promised to the people of the country in our election manifesto that we will bring NRC all over the country, make a register of citizens and take action against others, as per law,” he had said.

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