Shillong, July 25 (IANS) The Meghalaya government Thursday decided to keep in abeyance the National Population Register (NPR) biometric enrolment after student activists disrupted the NPR camps across this mountainous state’s capital.
“We have decided to keep the NPR biometric enrolment on hold after the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) activists disrupted the NPR enrolment camps in the state capital,” the principal secretary in-charge of census operations and NPR, Peter W. Ingty, told IANS.
The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) has asked the Mukul Sangma-led government to put on hold the proposed enrolment drive as the state first requires stronger mechanisms to check the influx of people.
Moreover, the students union has also suggested that the government involve heads of traditional institutions in helping in the verifying process to determine both genuine and non-genuine citizens for the purposes of enrolment in the National Population Register (NPR).
“Our demand is to stop this biometric enrolment and implementation of Aadhaar. Our focus is on the need to have strong mechanisms to check the influx (of illegal migrants). This enrolment will defeat the purpose of checking the menace of such influx,” KSU supremo Daniel Khyriem said.
He alleged that the NPR biometric enrolment or implementation of Aadhaar will only facilitate “outsiders” to strengthen their claim to being genuine residents of Meghalaya.
However, Ingty clarified that NPR biometric enrolment was carried out mainly to contain the details of all usual residents, whether people from India or foreigners, so as to be able to identify foreigners and genuine citizens.
“But nonetheless, we (government) have decided to involve heads of the traditional institutions to assist the government in the verifying process to determine both genuine and non-genuine citizens on implementation of the NPR in the state,” he said.
The NPR biometric enrolment will lead to the implementation of the Unique Identification number (UID) in the state. After the enrolment comes to a close, each individual will be provided with the UID number.
The NPR biometric enrolment in the state commenced on June 21 from Raj Bhavan where Governor Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary was the first in the state to have completed the process.
The biometric enrolment in the state is part of the second phase of data collection for the NPR. The first phase of this national exercise was completed in 2010 along with the housing and house listing operations for the 2011 census.