Regional seminar on BEFR 1873 held at Kohima

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Kohima, September 28: A first of its kind regional level seminar cum workshop on Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR) 1873 organized by Naga Students’ federation (NSF) today came up with various recommendations including creation of separate cell on Inner Line Pass (ILP), periodical review of Electoral Roll and National Register of Citizens in Nagaland.
The recommendations came out of the four groups panel discussion as part of the workshop held at Ura Hotel here today which included proper maintenance of ILP data and also suggested bringing out a comprehensive regulation for Nagaland immediately in order to curb the influx of illegal immigrants.
It also suggested creation of awareness and sensitization of administration, local & non-local citizens and also to educate all stakeholders on the dangers of harbouring illegal immigrants.
They also opined immediate review all permanent residential certificates issued to non locals and also extension of Inner Line Zone covering the entire state including Dimapur district.
The panelists were also of the opinion that special clause should be included in the BEFR Act for deporting and penalty in the rules while local people should immediately stop patronage to non locals.
They were also of the view that Village Council Act should be reframed and restructured while considering the harm of village Council rampantly issuing adoption certificates.
Nonetheless, though the daylong seminar is yet to draw the final conclusions on the recommendations, NSF officials informed that the High Powered Committee of NSF and executives would soon have a meeting and study all the recommendations put forth by the panelist and then issue an ultimatum to the government on proper implementation of ILP in Nagaland.
The topics covered by the panelists include “A critical analysis on the implementation of Inner Line Regulation in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland”, “The Legal Provisions of BEFR 1873 and thereafter; the legal responsibility of the State government”, “Merits and Demerits of the implementation of the BEFR 1873”, “The Relevance of the Inner Line Regulation in the present context”, “The Detrimental effects of Adoption in the Naga society”, “The tenacity of the BEFR 1973 to check the influx of illegal immigrants”, “The relevance of Assam NRC like exercise in Nagaland”, “The Recommendation of the Nagaland State Constituted Committee 2016”, “The role of Government and its implementing agencies in effective implementation of BEFR 1873” and “The role of pressure group in effective implementation of BEFR 1873″.
The four groups of panelists included personalities from varied fields including government officials, administration, police, journalists, legal luminaries, social activists, academicians and representatives from various the federating units of NSF.
The resources persons included Prof Jumyir Basar from Arunchal Institute of Tribal Studies, Rajiv Gandhi university (RGU) – A critical analysis on the implementation of Inner Line Regulation in Arunachal Pradesh, R Lalrin Kima, Associate Prof. Hrangbana College, Aizawl, Mizoram – A critical analysis on the implementation of Inner Line Regulation in Mizoram, Lallianchhunga, Associate Prog, Department of Political Science Mizoram University – Counter narrative arguments against ILR and P leonard Aier, principal City law College, Dimapur – Enforcement of The BEFR 1873 in the whole state of Nagaland”.
Making the opening remarks Senchumo (NSN) Lotha dwelled on the topic orgin and scope of BEFR 1873 stating that the prevailing circumstances over the preceeding years that has conditioned the enforcement of this regulation is a matter of concern.
Stating that the BEFR 1873 has completed its journey of 144 years ever since its enforcement by the British colonial government which has been drawn and re-drawn over the years”, the intention of the British Colonial government for implementing an Inner Line Regulation in the erstwhile Naga Hill’s is still an uunexplored subject of interest and needed further investigation.
Moreover, he said the intention of the GoI to allow the said regulations to be continued in pre and post Nagaland statehood despite inconvenience caused to the Indian citizens is an area requiring thorough research.
Principal of City Law College, Aier said that though the Inner Line Regulation has not been as effective as desired because of its ineffective and casual enforcement by the State administration, it has to some extent prevented influx of illegal migrants into the State.
But, during the recent years, he said the unabated influx has lead to a perceptible change in the demographic pattern of the State with no sign of any concrete policy and plan for imminent corrective measures on the part of the State Government.
He said that the dilution of the effectiveness of the Inner Line Regulation is being apprehended by the majority Naga people to its detriment, from the adverse consequences of which there will be no redemption for the future Naga generations.
In the absence of any other deterrent and effective law at present to check the ongoing unabated influx of illegal migrants into the State, and taking a serious note of the concerns shown by former and present Chief Ministers of the State and considering the further anguish and the expressed apprehension of the indigenous people of the State of more overwhelming influx into the State due to the non registration of lakhs of illegal migrants in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) update in the State of Assam, the Government of Nagaland must stringently implement and enforce the BEFR 1873 immediately in the whole State of Nagaland.
The State will go a long way if steps are initiated at the earliest to effectuate the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, framed under The Citizenship Act, 1955, and prepare the NRC for the State of Nagaland of the genuine indigenous citizens of the State, he added. (Page News Service)