State

JCPI reiterates stand on RIIN, to hold consultative meet

DIMAPUR, APR 14 (NPN) | Publish Date: 4/14/2021 12:28:06 PM IST

Following the expiry of its ultimatum to the State government for promulgation of an ordinance to implement Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) on March 31, Joint Committee Against Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI) said it had called for a consultative meeting with the apex tribal bodies of the State.

In a letter to presidents of apex tribal bodies sent on April 9, JCPI convener Atomi Swu and secretary Tia Longchar said they desired to hold a consultative meeting with them and their general secretaries at the earliest and suggested either third or fourth Friday, i.e., April 16 or 23, as the dates. They mentioned that once the convenient date was decided, the venue could either be in Dimapur or Kohima. 

Clarifying that JCPI was above partisan politics and individual self-interests, Swu and Longchar said the committee’s service rendered towards Naga society was purely voluntary as the issues of Inner Line Permit (ILP), Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and RIIN for once united all indigenous Nagas of Nagaland. 

“In this crucial couple of years, many unseen circumstantial challenges have been thrust upon us and we have done what is deemed best, so that we are not in the wrong side of history. We are answerable to our own tribe and our children for the choices we make today, as it will determine the status of our collective future,” the letter stated, emphasising that identification of “genuine indigenous people” with the stated cut-off year should be “our” common goal. 

Congratulating the incumbent presidents and office bearers, the JCPI leaders said Nagaland was slowly being flooded with illegal immigrants and, sensing the danger, a wakeup call was needed. And in the last quarter of 2018, tribal apex bodies and civil society organisations (CSOs) came to a consensus to urge the State government to strengthen ILP and extend it to Dimapur. 

The letter stated that in order to pursue this objective, 28 tribal bodies and CSOs formed JCPI, which submitted a representation to chief secretary on August 18, 2018. The fruitful consultative meeting led to the formation of Abhishek Singh Committee on ILP, as there was a genuine fear and apprehension of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants’ influx due to National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise in Assam. 

As at almost the same time, Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) became a national issue having direct implications for the North-eastern States, JCPI representing Nagaland became a part of North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) to collectively strengthen the movement. The June 7, 2019 meeting then authorised JCPI not only to fulfil ILP implementation but also to pursue CAB issue.

The meeting also passed a resolution that made all presidents and general secretaries of Naga tribal apex bodies as ex-officio executive members of JCPI by virtue of their designation. 

Following the RIIN notification issued on June 29, 2019, the letter recalled that an emergency meeting of all Naga tribal apex bodies and CSOs was called on July 5, 2019 under the banner JCPI where it was decided that all tribal apex bodies in their respective districts would submit recommendations to Government of India. 

Due to its complexities and as a thorough research was required, JCPI was entrusted to distinguish the indigenous status of citizens in Dimapur. 

Further, the letter reminded the presidents that it was decided that only December 1, 1963 cut-off year would be the yardstick for identifying the indigenous inhabitant of the State. This, JCPI had also cited the April 28, 1977 notification issued by P&AR department joint secretary A. Shanmugam.

Unfortunately, JCPI said the notification of December 9, 2019 that extended ILP to Dimapur mentioned November 21, 1979 as the cut-out year for the issue of ILP, which it asserted was totally unacceptable and was against the interest of indigenous people of the State. 

The letter stated that there was a notification maintaining December 1, 1963 as cut-off date and years for both ILP and RIIN. 

 

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