Some groups have called for April 1977 instead of December 1963 as the cut-off date.
A joint committee of Naga civil society groups has warned the Nagaland government against changing the cut-off date for including people in the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN).
The Nagaland government had, through a notification on June 29, decided to undertake the exercise to update the RIIN with December 1, 1963, as the cut-off date for inclusion of people in the register. Some organisations have, however, demanded that the cut-off date be changed to April 28, 1977.
Date of statehood
Nagaland was carved out of Assam as a State on December 1, 1963. The State government had in April 1977 issued a notification that laid down the criteria for issuing indigenous inhabitant certificates to the residents when the State was formed. The notification did not say whether those to be granted such a certificate would have to be a Naga.
“The cut-off date of December 1, 1963, is only for identifying non-Nagas and Nagas from other States who may be qualified to be called indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland. The idea of changing the cut-off date to 1977 under pressure from certain quarters is not acceptable,” a spokesperson of the Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI) said.
He added that the committee would be on a collision course with the State government if it thinks of such a move.
The Naga Political Leaders’ Forum (NPLF) of Manipur had a few days ago said it had submitted a memorandum to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio opposing the 1963 date as the cut-off date. Demanding April 28, 1977, as the cut-off date, the Forum said RIIN would otherwise “create great havoc to the unity and fraternity” of Nagas residing in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Myanmar.
“It will displace most of the Nagas from Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and other neighbouring areas who settled in Nagaland after 1963,” the NPLF said in a statement.
The JCPI has dismissed this argument, insisting that the Nagaland government must adhere to the 1963 date in implementing RIIN.
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