The Mizoram Assembly unanimously passed a Bill on Monday which aims to create registers containing the names, details and photographs of every resident of the state, on a household basis, in an effort to detect illegal foreigners staying and “eating away” benefits of development schemes.
“It shall be the responsibility of every householder as well as every member of household in the state to furnish all such information, particulars and passport-size photographs of the members of the household as may be required by the registering authorities,” reads the Mizoram Maintenance of Household Registers Bill, 2019.
“Influx of foreigners into Mizoram through its porous borders has remained a serious concern for several decades. In many cases the benefit of development and welfare programmes are found eaten away to a 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 of difficulties in detecting them,” reads the ‘statement of objects and reasons’ by Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga attached with the Bill.
The CM said that the “large scale influx of foreigners and their malafide assimilation” with the permanent residents in the villages of Mizoram has led to an “abnormal increase in the population” and poses a law and order threat.
The Bill further states that once the information prescribed by the state government is received, the concerned registering authority will compile the details in two distinct registers- one for the citizen residents and another for non-citizen residents of a village/area/town.
Information furnished by individuals for the registers would be “verified and counter-signed by the president of the local branch of the state-level NGOs as may be designated by the state dovernment from time to time”. The Bill says that all government departments and police may use the household registers for administrative purposes, during implementation of development schemes and law enforcement.