Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland

The government of Nagaland government has initiated an exercise to prepare a master list of all indigenous inhabitants of the State. This list called as the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) is viewed as a localised version of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that Assam began updating four years ago and is scheduled to complete by July 31.

Why the government has undertaken the exercise?

  • The RIIN is the first official master list of Nagaland’s indigenous inhabitants. The government has stated the intent behind the exercise is to prevent people from acquiring fake indigenous inhabitants’ certificates.
  • The government will prepare the list based on the survey by a team comprising sub-divisional officers, block development officers, school headmasters and other nominated members, would visit every village and ward to make the list.

Who will get listed in RIIN?

  • Entry in RIIN is virtually guaranteed for people belonging to 16 recognised tribes.
  • Others living in Nagaland prior to statehood (on December 1, 1963) have been recognised as indigenous.

Further Process

  • Once the RIIN will be finalised, those figuring in RIIN will be issued a barcoded and numbered Indigenous Inhabitant Certificate (IIC).
  • The process will be linked with the online system of the Inner Line Permit (ILP).
  • No IIC will be issued after RIIN is finalised except to babies born to indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland.

What is Inner Line Permit?

  • Inner Line Permit is a temporary travel document an Indian citizen has to possess to enter ‘protected’ areas of the North East. The ILP’s are issued under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, which restricted the entry of ‘British subjects’ or Indians into these areas primarily to protect the British interest in tea and oil.
  • These restrictions were continued in Independence to protect tribal cultures in the northeastern region and to regulate movement to certain areas near the international border.
  • The ILP is applicable in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.

The RIIN has been initiated to address the concerns Nagas from other areas such as Manipur getting jobs by claiming to be indigenous and IBIs (Illegal Bangladeshi Immigrants) “taking over” large swathes of agricultural lands.

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