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Mon, 22 Jul 2019

Northeast Today

Mizoram Governor yet to give nod to NRC-like Bill

Mizoram Governor yet to give nod to NRC-like Bill
May 17
11:45 2019

NET Bureau

Mizoram Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi seems to be not in a hurry to give his consent to Mizoram Maintenance of Household Register Bill, 2019 (MMHRB) passed by Mizoram Assembly on March 20 last.

Akin to Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC), the MMHRB aims to create registers containing the names, details and photographs of every resident of the State, on a household basis, in an effort to detect illegal foreigners staying in Mizoram. For the Bill to become an Act, the Governor needs to give assent, which is yet to take place almost two months after it was passed in the House.

“We await the Governor’s assent. Once he gives the nod, we will immediately pursue the needful,” said Parliamentary Affairs and Law Minister TJ Lalnuntluanga.

The Law Minister said they learnt that the Governor wanted to study the Bill in detail, its possible consequences and whether or not the matter is under the purview of the Central Government.

“As we know, the Bill is akin to the Assam’s NRC. Our Governor, who has witnessed the consequences of NRC in Assam as a Governor there, might be cautious about it,” the Law Minister added.

As Mizoram shares borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh, influx of foreigners into the State through the porous borders has remained a serious concern for several decades.

“In many cases the benefit of development and welfare programmes are found eaten away to a large extent by such foreigners who clandestinely stayed back and got assimilated among the people of the State by taking advantage of the mistaken identity and of difficulties in detecting them,” Chief Minister Zoramthanga, who introduced the Bill, said.

Large scale influx of foreigners and their malafide assimilation with the permanent residents in the villages of Mizoram has led to an “abnormal increase in the population” and poses a law and order threat.

Under the law, a comprehensive data base of residents will be maintained. The government wants to provide individual identification system through which it will arrest slippage of benefits of development schemes to those who are not entitled.

President of village councils, town committees will be the registering authority. They will maintain two registers – one will list the residents and another non-residents. The register will be updated every three months.

The Bill makes the responsibility of every householder as well as every member of household in the State to furnish information, particulars and passport-size photographs of the members of the household to the registering authorities.

Once the information prescribed by the State Government is received, the concerned registering authority will compile the details in two distinct registers – one for the citizen residents and another for non-citizen residents of a village/town. The law provides that for offence committed under this Bill a citizen may be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine of Rs 3,000 for willfully making a false statement or destroying the whole or any part of the form.

Source: The Assam Tribune

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