The influx of illegal immigration into Nagaland is a very sensitive issue as we all know. It is sensitive as it deals with those people looking for survival under compelling circumstances and yet for some looking for greener pasture. Whoever is the illegal immigrant, he is not alone but he has the backing of his community, his nation including international human rights organization.
The unregistered people out of 40 lakh now in Assam will flock to different destinations as and when the NRC draft list is finalized by the end of this year. The weakest and most complacent State in NE will be the destination target of these unregistered people. Nagaland’s border with Assam is so porous that any number of people can come without the notice of the administration. Worst is Dimapur being outside the purview of ILP, the administration has no power to restrict anybody from entering into the commercial town by road or by train. When any outsider reaches Dimapur, it is easy for anyone to go to any District in Nagaland. Thus, Dimapur has been the natural major depot for onward distribution of unwanted population to the rest of other Districts in Nagaland.
Of all, Nagaland is no less equipped with protective constitutional provisions than any State else in the country from prevention of intrusion point of view. Despite of having these provisions, Nagaland remains to be the most accessible for any migrant including illegal immigrants as of now. The Govt. of Nagaland seems to be hardly aware of the immense impending danger being posed by triple of the population of Nagaland. For sure 40 lakh will not come to Nagaland but when part of those people intrude into our small land in their thousands or in few lakhs, Nagaland will be swarmed. To allow unqualified people to enter into Nagaland is simple and easy as the administration has been doing so over all these years. It is well known fact that the certificate issuing authorities for ILP and Indigenous Certificate tend to abuse power by commercializing their positions. It is learnt that some of the issuing authority used to have syndicate with brokers who used to sell such certificates to seekers. It is also well known fact that many village authorities mostly in plain sector have the tendency to issue Permanent Residential Certificate(PRC) and Temporary Residential Certificate(TRC) rampantly to almost strangers. Some of those village authorities may be doing so out of sheer ignorance, but the rest of all those authorities are responsible for the presence of lakhs of outsiders in Nagaland due to greed and lack of sense of responsibility. The system of administrative monitoring being in total disarray, the brokers are capable of preparing number of ILP documents for new entrants with fake names. For instance, on the way from Dimapur to Kohima, the new entrants are instructed by guide to remember their new names when intercepted by anybody as it has to tally with name entered in the ILP. In the meeting of CSOs on 8.8.2018, a youth leader divulged that those brokers have even official seals of the issuing authority to be used as per their convenience. This being the prevailing situation, it is very easy for the syndicate to manipulate the existing laws at will. Nagaland therefore stands as the weakest of all in NE and definitely the citizenship deprived people earmarked Nagaland to be their prey.
Thus, outsiders entry into our land is simple. Yet, when we tend to deport them from Nagaland, it becomes very intricate. It becomes legal and constitutional. Deportation involves both internal and external pressures including intimidation from sympathizers of illegal intruders.
It is therefore imperative that we handle the issue of prevention, detection and deportation of illegal immigration with care. Our actions and reactions have to be within the parameters of the law. The strategies of all those who involve in the drive have to be synchronized. The State Govt. has to come into action with effective and comprehensive measures to monitor and tackle the menace without any complacency. As of the present, few organizations are making noises on the issue. I hope Nagaland Govt. will not become spectator to all these activities undertaken by civil societies. In case, the State Govt. lacks interest and determination to man the issue, anytime anything can go overboard which can become more intricate to manage.
Even prior to unregistered 4 million in Assam posing threat to Nagaland, we always have limitations in disposing off the illegal immigrants from Nagaland. When a defaulter is deported from any place to Dimapur, the next day the defaulter returns to his desired location with fresh entry permit. The fact is that Dimapur is the dumping ground. Therefore, what the civil societies are harping on placing Dimapur District under the purview of ILP is definitely imperative. Soft peddling of the State Govt. with the proposition will fetch negative results.
In my opinion, any public organization or the State machinery handling the issue in question or trying to do so may have to be in low profile. Whatever may be the initiatives, it has to be action oriented. At the very moment, I observe that publicity of ILP drive is louder than actual action on ground. Also, no organization must try to convert the initiative of ILP drive into fund drive. In the past we came across that certain private organization made a mockery of our laws and henceforth we must not repeat the mistake. We have to know that what we do to illegal intruders here in Nagaland will fetch boomerang. We have to admit that Nagaland cannot survive without the cooperation of our good neighbors. It will be unfortunate for any initiator to look for popularity mileage at the cost of our survival. Should we give more importance to publicity, we may have to swallow bitter pill ultimately. Over and above, Nagaland will be sandwiched between the issue of illegal immigration and anti-Nagaland factor.
It is therefore most advisable for the competent authority, i.e., the Govt. of Nagaland, steps in to shoulder its responsibility instead of becoming the fringe of NGOs as protecting and safeguarding the citizens and the territory of Nagaland is the primary duty of the established Govt.
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