GUWAHATI: The Nagaland government is going ahead with its headcount exercise, called “Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland” (RIIN), to identify the state’s “indigenous” people despite protests from some quarters.
That the Neiphiu Rio government is no mood to shelve the exercise was evident from its constituting a three-member commission, headed by former Chief Secretary Banuo Z Jamir. The commission will study, examine, recommend and give advice on all issues pertaining to RIIN.
According to official sources, the state’s home department would provide the logistics to the commission which has been asked to submit its report within three months. It has been also asked to chalk out modalities for the conduct of the exercise.
RIIN was set in motion on July 10 with a view to streamline the system of issuance of indigenous inhabitant certificates and to maintain a record of such indigenous inhabitants.
The state government has assured that no decision that is discriminatory or in contravention of the interest of people or any community will be undertaken.
Earlier, the state government had held two consultative meetings with various organisations of the state. Most organisations endorsed the exercise except for Naga Hoho, which is the Nagas’ apex social organisation, and rebel group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM).
The Naga Hoho said RIIN would divide the Nagas as a lot of them from Manipur were settled in Nagaland.
The NSCN-IM had said, “All Nagas are indigenous in their ancestral homeland which is contiguous. It is the legitimate rights and political decision of the Nagas to live together under one political roof. The Nagas do not and will not accept their division by imposed artificial state and international boundaries”.