Mokokchung, 27 October (MTNews): The Rising People’s Party (RPP) has submitted a petition to the Chief Minister of Nagaland, addressing concerns related to illegal immigration and suggesting measures to reinforce the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in the state. The RPP also highlighted the “the larger danger of unabated immigration in the state despite the coverage of Dimapur under the ILP regime.” The RPP delegation was led by its president Joel Naga.
This petition of the RPP comes in the wake of the controversy surrounding the appointment of Abdul Kayum Talukdar as the GB of New Market, Dimapur. The RPP in its petition pointed out that the appointment of Talukdar as GB of New Market, Dimapur, is illegal due to the lack of records showing that he or his ancestors were inhabitants of Nagaland before 1963. The party demanded the immediate termination of his service.
“It has been verified that Talukdar, GB of New Market, Dimapur, is a Non-Indigenous person, since there are no records to show that he or his ancestors are pre-1963 inhabitants,” stated the party.
The party further expressed its concern about the usage of the term “Gaon Bura” by non-Nagas in the Dimapur municipal area. The party, however, acknowledged that individuals from Jain, Bihari, Bengali, and Muslim communities have been appointed as GBs in Dimapur town.
Acknowledging that the system of GBship may not be ‘uniquely Naga’, it stated that the GBs in the state are the custodians of Naga customary laws and tradition (in a village setting) and therefore, the party suggested that the terms such as ‘Marwari Representative’ or ‘Muslim Representative’ may be used instead in Dimapur municipality.
The party also proposed that anyone representing these communities must be indigenous; meaning they or their ancestors should have been pre-1963 inhabitants of the state with valid documents.
Regarding Naga GBs in Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), the party suggested that the term “Gaon Bura” is inappropriate, and suggested that alternatives such as “Colony Representative” should be used “since the term Gaon Bura in ULBs is a misnomer.”
The RPP also cited a Home Department notification from October 1981, which stipulated that Temporary Residential Permits (TRPs) or Temporary Residential Certificates can only be issued to “persons who have acquired land post-1963 with the permission of the government, persons holding business licenses after 1963 and their heirs and persons residing in the state prior to 1963 or with names in the 5th December e-roll.”
The party argued that such action is necessary since TRPs have quasi-legal status, and GBs, especially in urban areas, should not be permitted to issue these critical documents to non-locals for purposes such as birth certificates, driving licenses, and trade licenses.
As such, the RPP demanded that all TRPs issued till date in violation of the 1981 notification must be declared null and void.
“Once all TRPs issued in violation of the 1981 notification are made null and void, all the responsible departments having issued such documents should be directed to nullify the birth certificates, driving licenses, trade licenses, etc., issued in the last 42 years,” RPP further said.
RPP said that such a drastic action is required for the fact that TRPs are quasi-legal in nature.
“Therefore, GBs, particularly in urban areas, cannot be allowed to randomly issue such an important document to non-locals for the purpose of issuance of birth certificates, driving licenses, trade licenses, etc.,” it added.
The RPP suggested categorizing non-Naga non-indigenous individuals who acquired land or immovable property in the state, both before and after the declaration of Dimapur as a Tribal Belt in 1979.
The party demanded that non-Naga non-indigenous individuals who acquired land or property in Nagaland before the declaration of Dimapur as a Tribal Belt in 1979 should be exempted from the ILP regime. However, they should be subject to property taxation under necessary amendments to the Nagaland Municipal Act. The RPP also insisted that the state government should create a database of all properties, particularly in the former Dimapur district, to ensure compliance with the Act.
The party also proposed that non-Naga non-indigenous individuals with business licenses issued before the declaration of Dimapur as a Tribal Belt and their descendants should be exempt from the ILP regime. However, non-Naga non-indigenous residents without land or property but with business licenses issued after the declaration of Dimapur as a Tribal Belt should be subject to the ILP regime.
The RPP advocated for subjecting the rest of the “floating population” to the ILP regime.
The party also recommended the establishment of Foreigners Tribunals and a separate department dedicated to handling illegal immigration, complete with checks at all entry points and digitization of records.
Regarding the proposed railway line to Zubza, the RPP recommended modifying the plan so that only goods are transported from Shokhuvi station onwards, rather than passengers and goods from the Dimapur sector.
The RPP emphasized the urgency of taking concrete action to address these pressing concerns before it is too late. While acknowledging that the proposed points may not provide a one-size-fits-all solution, the party believes that their implementation can significantly mitigate the impact of immigration in Nagaland.