Kohima: The process for implementing the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) is held up as discussions with the civil society organisations are getting delayed because of the pandemic, chief minister Neiphiu Rio informed the assembly on Tuesday.

The state government had in 2019 said that the RIIN, a register of all the indigenous inhabitants of Nagaland, is required to prevent issuance of indigenous inhabitant certificates to ineligible persons.

According to a notification of June 29 that year, the RIIN will help identify the citizens who settled in Nagaland prior to December 1, 1963, the day it became a full-fledged state.

The chief minister said that discussion with civil society organisations is delayed because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and once proper deliberations with them are held, the report would be laid in the assembly for discussion.

Replying to queries of Opposition leader T R Zeliang and MLA Kuzholuzo Nienu, Rio said that indigenous Naga people won’t have any problem if RIIN is implemented as the indigenous certificate issued by the respective village councils of their native village will prove one’s identity.

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Non-Naga indigenous certificates will also have to be given to those non-Naga inhabitants who have settled before statehood and residential certificate or domicile to those coming for business and investment in the state, he said.

Only those whose names figure in the RIIN will be issued indigenous inhabitant certificates and all other certificates would become invalid after the final register is ready, the government had said earlier.

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