A consultative meeting convened by the Nagaland government on Wednesday resolved that policies and modalities of preparing the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) will be made public before the beginning of the actual enumeration, sources said.
The Nagaland government has started the process of preparing the RIIN, a register of all indigenous inhabitants of the north-eastern state, from July 10.
"The meeting resolved that the government will make public the policies and modalities for implementing of the RIIN and only after all the stakeholders and the indigenous Naga public agree to it, the enumeration will commence," said one of the persons who attended the meeting.
Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, several other ministers, legislators, members of tribal bodies and civil society organisations attended the consultative meeting where mediapersons were not allowed.
After a two-hour deliberation, the tribal bodies and civil societies decided to support the RIIN in principle, Naga Students' Federation president Ninoto Awomi, who attended the meeting, said.
The meeting was held in the backdrop of opposition from several quarters, including the insurgent group NSCN(IM) which has been holding peace talks with the government.
Legislators from the ruling NDPP and the BJP attended the meeting while the opposition NPF abstained from it demanding that the government scrap the notification issued for the RIIN if it wants to hold a consultative meeting.
Representatives of major tribal bodies and civil society organisations such as the Eastern Nagaland Peoples' Organisation, the Naga Mothers Association, the Naga Students' Federatrion, the Eastern Nagaland Students Federation, Eastern Nagaland Women Organisation were present at the meeting.
State Home Commissioner R Ramakhrishnan had issued a notification stating that the RIIN exercise would start from July 10 and would be concluded within 60 days.
The list of indigenous people of the state was supposed to be prepared by an extensive house-to-house survey, based on official records, under the supervision of the district administrations.
The RIIN will help identify indigenous inhabitants who settled in Nagaland prior to December 1, 1963, the day it became a full-fledged state.
While several political parties and civil societies have welcomed the move, a section of them expressed concerns, claiming that the definition of "indigenous inhabitants" was not clear in the notification.
Only those whose names figure in the RIIN will be issued indigenous inhabitant certificates and all other certificates would become invalid after the preparation of the final register.
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