Nagaland: Committee urges state govt to extend Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act in state


DIMAPUR | August 20, 2018:

To curb influx in the state, a committee of civil society organisations, tribal Hohos, NGOs and pressure groups have urged the state government to extend the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873, across Nagaland, especially Dimapur district.

Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants which has been recently formed under the aegis of Nagaland Tribes Council had said that if Dimapur remains out of the purview of inner-line permit (ILP), it will continue to be a feeder district of illegal immigrants to interior areas.

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The committee urged the state government to create a separate cell under home department for strict enforcement of the 1873 act and Foreigners Act, 1946.

The committee, in a statement on Sunday, expressed apprehension about the ongoing update of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. It pointed out that out of 40 lakh applicants left out of the draft NRC, a substantial number could be declared foreigners after the end of the exercise. It voiced concern that if those who failed to get their names in the NRC, they may decide to seek refuge in neighbouring states, including Nagaland.

The committee pointed out that the state government has been complacent in preventing entry of illegal migrants and identification of illegal settlers in Nagaland.

The statement said a meeting on August 14 unanimously resolved to submit a representation to the state government on influx. The committee urged the government to boost the morale of "enforcers" through proper training and reorientation with legal strategy.

It also urged the state government to strengthen implementation of ILP and immediately issue operational guidelines like disabling ILP-holders from renewing the permit after expiry without first going/moving out of the ILP zone.

The committee wanted the ILP to differentiate between tourists, passengers in transit and manual or skilled labourers and it should be for a limited period. It pointed out that Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh are empowered by the 1873 act to issue guidelines on entry of non-indigenous people.

It also urged the state government to issue a notification to village councils and wards/colonies to assist agencies to enforce the act, particularly along the border and vulnerable areas and to maintain strict vigil.

It suggested issuing of notifications to village authorities and gaonburhas(village chiefs)/licensing authorities such as transport authorities and municipal own councils not to issue the residential certificate/permanent resident certificate/driving licence to anyone without establishing the antecedents of applicants.

The committee urged the Nagaland government to tie up with neighbouring states, in order to formulate cohesive and collective measures for prevention of inter-state influx

The state government had been asked by the committee to establish foreigners tribunals, without which the coverage and legal system for effective enforcement of laws under Foreigners (Tribunals) Orders, 1964, and Foreigners Act, 1946, would be found wanting.

Source: The Telegraph

Featured image: The Telegraph