Demanding immediate scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, school students in large numbers took out protest rallies in different parts of the state on Wednesday Credit: EastMojo image

Aizawl: The Mizoram assembly on Monday unanimously passed The Mizoram Maintenance of Household Register Bill, 2019 to identify Indian citizens and illegal immigrants in the state.

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga, who introduced the bill, said that after its enactment the bill would help the state government in identifying foreigners and genuine residents of the state.

He said that influx of foreigners into the state through its porous borders has remained a serious concern for several decades and in many cases the benefits of development and welfare programmes are found eaten away to large extent by such foreigners who clandestinely stayed back and got assimilated in the people of the state by taking advantage of the mistaken identity and difficulties in detecting them.

Mizoram is sandwiched between Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Zoramthanga said the problem faced by the border-state in the NE due to large scale influx of foreigners and their mala fide assimilation with the permanent resident in the villages of Mizoram, thereby resulting in an abnormal increase in the population, which also poses a serious threat to law and order and internal security of the state, he said.

He said that the government, therefore, strongly felt the necessity to develop comprehensive database in respect of all residents of the state to ensure its update and maintenance on ongoing basis for the improvement of the system of delivery of benefits of development and welfare schemes as well as for security purpose, by way of enumerations and verifications from time to time.

According to him, the proposed act is intended to provide credible individual identification system and to prevent usurpation of benefits of development schemes by those who are of not entitled.

The chief minister said that the bill, after enactment, would provide effective maintenance of law and order and meaningful village and town administration.

He said that state government will appoint the president of every village councils and secretary of every local council or town committee as registering authority for the village or the municipal area concerned for the purpose.

The registering authority will compile two distinct formats or registers- one for citizen residents of the villages/area/town (Register-A) and another for non-citizen resident of of the villages/area/town (Register-B).

All such household registers will be updated once in every three months or at regular interval, he said.

For offence committed under the proposed act, 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 false statement or destroy the whole or any part of the forms.

After prolonged discussion involving at least 15 members, the bill was unanimously passed.

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