Kohima: Nagaland deputy chief minister Y Patton on Tuesday assured that the state government under chief minister Neiphiu Rio’s leadership is “committed” to implement the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN).

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.

Responding to a supplementary question raised by opposition MLA Kuzholuzo Nienu at the ongoing session of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly on the implementation of RIIN, Patton said that the process has been delayed due to pandemic and further consultation by the civil society organisations.

Saying that the idea was conceptualized by Rio, Patton assured that the government is committed to implement the same during the term. However, a time-frame in this regard cannot be given by the government.

Through a written response, Patton said that the government of Nagaland has decided for creation of RIIN with an objective to prevent issuance of fake certificates. He informed that following the submission of the report by the Banuo commission, a consultative meeting with all tribal Hohos and organizations to achieve the objectives of RIIN.

It was then decided that a State Level Joint Consultative Committee with Home Commissioner as Convenor and representatives of CNTC, ENPO and TPO, and of the non-Naga Scheduled Tribes of the State as Members, and in the Districts, District Level Sub-Committee with DC as Convenor and the respective Tribal Hoho (s) of the district as Members will be constituted for holding further deliberations with the various stakeholders from the State of Nagaland on the issues pertaining to RIIN.

At present, he said that the constituted Committees are holding deliberations with the Tribal Hohos and Organizations on the recommendations of the Report and other issues pertaining to RIIN.

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As Nienu questioned on why the elected representatives of the state Assembly are not privy of the commission’s report, chief minister Neiphiu Rio initially said that the matter will be brought to the Assembly for discussion at the right time, after thorough consultation. He, however, assured that the report will be given to all members.

Despite the delay in implementation, Rio said that the state government is “very clear” on the matter. He added that Nagas should not be deprived of their indigenous rights and that it should be protected.

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