The Mizoram Assembly Monday unanimously passed a bill that seeks to detect foreigners illegally residing in the northeastern state, that shares an over 700-km border with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Introducing The Mizoram Maintenance of Household Registers Bill, 2019, Chief Minister Zoramthanga said the influx of foreigners into the state through its porous borders has remained a serious concern for several decades.
The measures proposed under legislation are intended to provide credible individual identification system and to prevent "usurpation" of benefits of developmental schemes by those who are not entitled, the bill says.
It defines "citizens" as a person registered as such, or having requisite qualification as prescribed under the Citizenship Act, 1955, the bill said.
The chief minister said that in many cases the benefits of development are found to have been 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.
Even the Supreme Court has expressed concern over such continuous influx of foreigners and their assimilation in the mainstream and it was felt imperative by the state to invoke its legislative powers to enact a suitable law, he said.
Such influx had resulted in abnormal increase in the population which posed a serious threat to law and order as well as the state's internal security, Zoramthanga said.
"It is, therefore, a strongly felt necessity to develop a comprehensive database in respect of all the residents of Mizoram - whether in villages or in towns and whether permanent or temporary and to ensure its updation and maintenance," he said.
He said the update is required for improvement of the system of delivery of benefits of welfare schemes as well for security purposes, by way of enumerations and verification from time to time.
The Centre, he said, had mooted a system of National Register of Indian Citizens and issue of multi-purpose national identity cards based on such a register. It had also suggested this before the apex court.
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