210 people without NRC documents ‘pushed back’ by Mizo students’ body
Mizo Zirlai Pawl, the main student’s body of the hilly state in North East has initiated a drive against ‘foreigners’ entering Mizoram from Monday and set up check points on the border.Updated: Aug 24, 2018 20:00 IST
As many as 210 people travelling from Assam to Mizoram have been ‘pushed back’ since Monday by an influential Mizo students’ organisation because they did not have draft National Register of Citizens documents, the students claimed.
Mizo Zirlai Pawl, the main student’s body of the hilly state in North East has initiated a drive against ‘foreigners’ entering Mizoram from Monday and set up check points on the border. It continues despite the Kolasib district administration’s directive to stop it and discussions with authorities from the neighbouring districts of Assam.
“We want to make sure no foreigners enter,” said Lalnunmawia Pautu, the General Secretary of MZP. Silchar in Assam’s Cachar district is the surface access point to Mizoram.
“We have set up check points in three places,” said Lalnunmawia Pautu as he explained how the students activist are checking NRC documents at three entry points—at the railway station in Bairabi, the road entry points in Variengte and Saiphai all in Kolasib district which shares a border with Assam. “More than 200 activists are on the job,” Pautu said.
There has been no crackdown by the Mizoram government so far on this parallel security set up in the election bound state.
“Anyone who has no NRC document is being sent back,” Zoasangliana Rokhum, president of Kolasib unit of MZP said. “Over 40 lakh people are out of NRC we have to make sure the illegal people do not come here,” he said.
Mizoram has an inner line permit (ILP) regime where a permit is mandatory to enter the state.
“Police checks the ILP. We are only concerned with NRC,” said Rokhum explaining how they ask travelers for their application reference numbers (ARN) and check it on NRC website. Those who do not have the ARN or are not even carrying any other NRC document are being ‘pushed back’. “We are checking all vehicles passing through the check gate,” Rokhum said.
Asked as to how the activists are identifying those from Assam, Rokhum explained how ILP document have addresses and other information or they are identified through surnames. “We know which are the Assamese and Bengali surnames,” he said.
Rakesh Roushan, Superintendent of Police, Cachar, the neighbouring Assam district said that Mizoram officials had told him the drive had stopped.
“I spoke to my counterpart in Kolasib and he said the drive stopped. We also haven’t received any complaints since Wednesday,” Roushan said.
However, a top district official in Kolasib confirmed that the vigilante action of the students continues.
“The district officials had called us for a meeting and said that we should stop this drive and they will increase the police presence on the border. We are not happy with them so we are continuing,” Rokhum said as he narrated how activists work round the clock in shifts.
The Supreme Court, the Centre and Assam government have all said the draft NRC cannot be a basis of any action against those whose names do not figure in it.
First Published: Aug 24, 2018 20:00 IST