Nagaland government constitutes a Commission for RIIN
By Our Correspondent, 27/07/2019, Guwahati

To frame the modalities of creating the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN), the Nagaland government on Saturday has constituted a Commission headed by a former Nagaland Chief Secretary.With an objective to prevent issuance of fake indigenous inhabitant certificates, the Nagaland state government has decided to set up the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants Certificates of Nagaland (RIIN) and the process of RIIN has been started from July 10. The Home Department of the Nagaland government has issued a notification on Saturday after the meetings held with tribal bodies, civil societies and non-Naga communities of the state. A series of meetings were held at the State Banquet Hall, Kohima on July 17 last inpresence of Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and the Tribal Hohos and Civil Society Organisations were given an opportunity to express their thoughts and suggestions for effective implementation of RIIN. All the Tribal Hohos and CSOs present endorsed the decision of the state government for creation of the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland and desire to support the initiative of the government.

However, they also asked the government to give sufficient time to have further discussion on the matter and suggested the necessity to work out clear and practical modalities to be adopted while exercising the RIIN.The notification stated that, with an objective for studying, examining and recommending and advising into all issues relating to RIIN, Government of Nagaland constitutes a Commission under the Chairmanship of retired IAS officer Banuo Z Jamir. Other members of the Commission are – retired IAS officer T Kiheto Sema and C Shingwang Konyak. Retired Justice Zelre Angami will function as the advisor of the Commission and Home Commissioner of the state government included in a Commission as the ex-officio Member Secretary, Commissioner and Secretary of the Law & Justice department as the ex-officio members. The notification also stated that, the Commission would recommend the eligibility criteria to be an indigenous inhabitant, the documents to be acceptable as proof for being an indigenous inhabitant, the manner in which the exercise is to be carried out and any other issue relating to implementation of the RIIN.

The Commission would submit its report within three months. According to the earlier notification issued by Nagaland state government Home Commissioner R. Ramakrishnan on June 29 that, the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants Certificates of Nagaland (RIIN) will be prepared with an extensive survey with the help of village and ward wise list of indigenous inhabitants based on official records and will be prepared under the supervision of district administration. There will be designated teams from each village and ward, comprising SDO/ EAC, as the Chairman, BDO/UDO as member,  headmasters of Govt high schools (to be nominated by DEOs), two GBs nominated by the Deputy Commissioner,  two GPS/GMS/GHS teachers nominated by the DEO as member will visit each house and make a list of indigenous inhabitants actually resident in the household. Each family member will be listed in the village of their original residence and mention will be made if the concerned member is actually residing in town or Kohima or Dimapur or elsewhere.

The format for making the list will mention permanent and present residence separately. Aadhaar numbers will also be recorded wherever available. The Nagaland government has directed all the Deputy Commissioners to ensure all teams are constituted by name within seven days of publication of the notification. According to the government notification, the list of indigenous inhabitants will be published in the respective villages and wards and authenticated by village and ward authorities under the supervision of district administration and the provisional lists prepared by the teams will be published in the villages and wards as well as on the website of the district and the state government on September 11. Time will be given till October 10 for any claims and objections after the publication of provisional list. The entire process will be completed within a period of two months that is on or before December 10. After completing the process, each indigenous inhabitant will be given a unique ID and the final list of indigenous inhabitants under RIIN will be created and copies of the same will be placed in the respective villages, wards, districts, and at state level. Electronic copies will also be placed in the digital locker at State Data Centre and a mechanism of electronic and SMS based authentication of indigenous inhabitant certificates will be built. This will be done as part of the online system of Inner Line Permits.

All the indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland whose names are included in the RIIN will be issued a bar-code and numbered Indigenous Inhabitant Certificates across the state. After completing the process all genuine indigenous Inhabitants will be issued certificates with unique ID and RIIN is notified, all existing Indigenous Inhabitants Certificates issued by any authority will become invalid. The nodal officers will be required to visit districts at least once per month. Their role will be to monitor the implementation and will not interfere in the adjudication process which will be the responsibility of the deputy commissioners. The nodal officers will submit monthly reports of their visits, meetings etc. to the Permanent Committee before 20th of each month. The exercise will also be reviewed and monitored by the chief secretary every month. Thereafter, no fresh indigenous inhabitant certificates will be issued except for newborn babies and children born to indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland, for whom it will be ensured to issue indigenous inhabitant certificates along with their birth certificates.

 They will be simultaneous updated to the RIIN database with due intimation to the village, ward, and district authorities. The RIIN database will be updated with latest photographs and other details, every five years. There will be a complete ban on issue of fresh indigenous inhabitant certificates. In the case of anyone being left out from the RIIN, he/she needs to file an application before the home commissioner who will get the matter verified and take the necessary action of updating the RIIN if needed. The permanent committee under Home department will monitor the whole exercise of creation of RIIN and its implementation.The government notification also stated that, any Deputy Commissioner or any other officer or authority that issues any indigenous inhabitant certificate in violation of the government guidelines will attract disciplinary action.The state has a territory of 16,579 square km with a population 19,80,602 as per the 2011 census.