Headcount of non-Nagas underway in Dimapur; Non-locals pay to be counted

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Dimapur, November 22: Even as the State gears up for the 2nd Phase of Census 2011, a parallel census of non-Naga population in Dimapur District of Nagaland has began since last week. The headcount of the non-locals in the district aims to identify and record the number of non-Naga household in the district.

It, however, cannot be confirmed under whose authority the survey is being undertaken.

While top State Government sources said the Government is not aware of any such survey of non-local population in the State nor does such survey have the Government sanction, the survey in most cases are being undertaken by Government appointed GBs giving rise to many unanswered questions.

According to reports, GBs/chairman/ward members/elders are undertaking the headcount of non-locals called ‘House Hold & Members of Non Locals – 2010-11’ in their respective jurisdictions.

Under the exercise, every non-Naga household in the district is made to buy a kind of registration form at a cost of Rs 120 to Rs 150 and submit the same after being duly filled to the respective colony, village or ward in-charge, who could be the GBs/chairman/ward members/elders. However, for shops ran by non-local traders the in-charge directly take down the details personally at a cost of Rs 300.

When asked by some informed non-local the authority behind the census, the in-charges reportedly declined to reveal the same. The non-local headcount encompasses all non-Nagas living in the district, including employees of State and Central governments, Public Sector Undertakings, etc.

Most non-Naga residents here says they have no objection to such a census being undertaken provided they are made aware of who is taking the headcount and the reasons behind such an exercise when they are made to pay for the whole exercise.
Sources from non-Naga community here said they particularly take exception to the underlying hint that non-locals are all criminals.

In the registration forms given to non-locals households here, it is mentioned that any crime perpetrated by non-locals will be the sole responsibility of the GBs/Village council chairman, ward members/elders if not registered. The form also says any crime committed by registered non-locals should be immediately reported to the “undersigned” through proper channel. The “undersigned” in the forms only mentions GBs/Chairman/Ward Members/Elders, non-local community here said.

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