The Registrar General of India has agreed to extend the deadline for finalization of the first phase of the ongoing Census 2011 in Mizoram by 15 days to give more time to the census officials to persuade those people who refused to cooperate with the officials on religious grounds, according to the officials of the Directorate of Census on Sunday.
The first phase of the census, house listing operations and Unique Identity (UID) card for the National Population Register (NPR, which began in Mizoram from May 15 was scheduled to be completed by June 30 last.
With the permission for extension of the exercise, the enumerators and other officials were instructed to complete the process by July 15 and submit the data to their respective Principal Census Officers (deputy commissioners of all the eight districts were designated as Principal Census Officers).
The postal department would dispatch the data to the Data Centre in Assam by July 22, the Census Operations officials said, adding that the contents of the data would be kept completely confidential and would not be allowed to be revealed even by invoking the Right to Information Act or the order of the court.
According to the latest report available with the Principal Census Officers, there were 1,355 families who refused to enroll their names in the census due to the fear of being marked with the Biblical number of the Beast.
The number of such religious bigots were 449 families in Aizawl district, 173 families in Lawngtlai district, 167 families in Champhai district, 106 families in Lunglei district, 64 families in Saiha district, 50 families in Serchhip district and 18 families in Mamit district.
The fear of being marked with the number of the Beast (Devil), number 666, stemmed from the prophesy in the Bible’s Revelation chapter 13 verse 17 that those people not marked with the number of the Beast or Anti-Christ would be allowed to buy or sell properties.
One of the clauses of the instructions issued by the Unique Identification (UID) Authority of India is that those who are not having UID would be able to buy or sell properties.
The number of people who refused to have their names enrolled could change occasionally as these people were changing their minds repeatedly, the officials added.