Mizoram Assembly has passed a bill that seeks to detect “illegal migrants” at the village and town level and bring in punitive measures for those making a false statement during the exercise.
Moving The Mizoram Maintenance of Household Register Bill, 2019 on Monday, chief minister Zoramthanga said the bill was necessary as “large-scale illegal migration” posed a serious threat to law and order and internal security in the state.
Before the Assembly elections in November last year, the ruling MNF had promised in its manifesto to have a village-level citizen registration system to detect illegal migrants. Sources said the exercise is aimed at Chakma residents, who are often suspected to be illegal migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. Organisations representing the Chakmas, however, said they were discriminated and harassed in the name of detection of illegal migrants in the state.
This comes at a time when the powerful NGOs and student bodies have demanded an NRC-like system to detect "illegal migrants" following the release of a draft NRC in Assam on July 30 last year. More than 40.07 lakh people of the total 3.29 crore applicants.
Mizoram has 510-km unfenced borders with Myanmar and 318-km with Bangladesh.
The chief minister said the state government will appoint presidents of every village council and secretary of every local council as registering authority to carry out the citizens registration exercise at the village and town level. The same will be updated every three months to check fresh migration.
The CM said illegal migrants were taking benefits of the government schemes.