Nagaland Govt. Constitutes Commission For RIIN
- On July, 27th, 2019, the Nagaland Government constituted a commission to frame the modalities of creating the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN).
- The commission shall have access to all records and documents that may be relevant to the subject and shall also be free to associate any government official or any person as it may deem fit for successful completion of the task assigned.
- The Commission is required submit its report within three months.
- It included headed by retired Chief Secretary Banuo Z. Jamir as chairman and T. Kiheto Sema and S. Chingwang Konyak as members.
- Justice (Retd.) Zelre Angami will function as the advisor to the Commission.
- The Home Commissioner and the Commissioner Nagaland will be ex-officio members of the panel.
- To chalk out modalities for the RIIN exercise.
- To study and examine all issues related to the exercise and submit its recommendations to government.
- Issues like eligibility criteria to be an indigenous inhabitant, relevant authority to authenticate claims, place of registration and nature of documents needed to substantiate claims will be studied and finalised by the commission.
Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN)
- In June, 2019, the Nagaland Government decided to set up a Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) with the aim of preventing fake indigenous inhabitant’s certificates. The RIIN will be the master list of all indigenous inhabitants of the state.
- The government began the process of preparing the RIIN on July 10, 2019.
- Only those whose names figure in the RIIN will be issued indigenous inhabitant certificates and all other certificates would become invalid after the preparation of the final register.
- However, the Nagaland government has put on hold the enrolments for the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) as it announced the formation of a three-member commission to study the exercise amid concerns by civil society groups and political parties.
- The RIIN would provide protection to genuine citizens who are permanent settlers of Nagaland and non-Nagas will not be harassed during preparation of the list of indigenous citizens.
- It will help identify the citizens who settled in Nagaland prior to December 1, 1963, the day it became a full-fledged State.
How will the list be prepared?
- The RIIN list will be based on an extensive survey. It will involve official records of indigenous residents from rural and (urban) wards and would be prepared under the supervision of the district administration.
- Designated teams of surveyors will be formed within seven days from the date of publication of the notification, and thereafter these teams will be sent across each village and ward.
How will the survey be done?
- The designated teams comprising Sub-Divisional Officers (SDO), Block Development Officers (BDO), Headmasters and other nominated members, will make a list of indigenous inhabitants in the state.
- The database will note each family’s original residence, current residence as well as the concerned Aadhaar numbers.
What will the unique identity look like?
- Based on the adjudication and verification, a list of indigenous inhabitants will be finalised and each person will be given a unique ID. The final list or the RIIN will be created and its copies will be placed in all villages and ward. Electronic copies of the list will also be stored in the State Data Centre.
- A mechanism or electronic and SMS-based authentication will be put in place. All indigenous inhabitants of the state would be issued a barcoded and numbered Indigenous Inhabitant Certificate. The process will be conducted across Nagaland and will be done as part of the online system of Inner Line Permit (ILP), which is already in force in Nagaland.
Inner Line Permit (ILP)
How will the RIIN be updated?
Once the RIIN is finalised, no fresh indigenous inhabitant certificates will be issued except to newborn babies born to the indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland.
What about those excluded from the list?
In case anyone who is left out of the RIIN, he/she will need to file an application before Home Commissioner who will get the matter verified and take necessary action for updating the RIIN if needed.
Challenges to RIIN Initiative
Definition of Indigenous Inhabitants:
- One the major challenge is to decide the indigeneity of the inhabitant because there is no clear definition of who is an indigenous inhabitant; although the State has 16 recognised tribes. Attempts to arrive at a conclusion have failed because of a Naga customary law that allows adoption of other communities.
- An example is that of the Gurkhas who settled in the State before December 1963. They have been recognised as indigenous.
Cut-off Date Issue:
- Though the official notification on RIIN has not mentioned a cut-off date to compile the proposed register, the authorities in Nagaland have till date issued indigenous inhabitant certificates using December 1, 1963 as the cut-off date.
- Since 1977, to be eligible to obtain a certificate of indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland, a person has to fulfill either of the below conditions:
- the person must be settled permanently in Nagaland prior to December 1, 1963
- his or her parents or legitimate guardians were paying house tax prior to the cut-off date (December 1, 1963)
- the applicant, or his/her parents or legitimate guardians, acquired property and a patta (land certificate) prior to this cut-off date
- If the Nagaland government goes ahead with a compilation of RIIN with this cut-off date, then all Naga people who have migrated to the State from the neighbouring States of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and elsewhere in India after this day will have to be excluded.
Adopted non-Naga Children:
- The compilation of RIIN involves the complexities of deciding on the claims of the children of non-Naga fathers as well as non-Naga children adopted by Naga parents.In such case, all Naga people who have migrated to the State after this day will have to be excluded.These include migrants from the neighbouring Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and elsewhere in India.
Inner Line Permit Issue:
- As the Nagaland government has begun a consultation process on RIIN, it will be under pressure to de-link the work of streamlining the ILP mechanism from the proposed register.
- The RIIN proposal may require large numbers of non-indigenous inhabitants to obtain an ILP to carry out day-to-day activities.Notably, most of them are migrated ones from other States and have been carrying out trade, business and other activities for decades. It will hit the economy of the state.
- Further, the complexities that may arise in streamlining the ILP mechanism due to non-issuance of domicile certificates or permanent residence certificates to a large number of non-Naga, non-indigenous inhabitants could also make the task even more difficult for the Nagaland government.