Kerala's LDF govt refuses to update population register
20 January 2020
Kerala’s Left Front government headed by Pinari Vijayan has decided against updating the population register, which is updated every 10 years following the census.
The state government has cited a report prepared by the state police chief which states that the updating of National Population Register (NPR) will be difficult this time around as it could give rise to serious law and order issues.
The state cabinet, which met today, decided to inform the centre that Kerala will not be updating the National Population Register (NPR). There are concerns that the data collected for NPR would be used to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the country.
The cabinet has decided to inform the Registrar General and Census Commissioner that the state will stay away from updating and renewing the NPR.
The state government, however, said it would cooperate with the Census work as it involves only counting heads.
There are lakhs of Bangladeshi migrants and even Rohingyan refugees from Myanmar in the state and the Left Front government is in no mood to address that issue.
The state cabinet also warned against liking NPR to the National Register of Citizens, which is opposed by opposition parties and groups working against the interests of the country.
“The state will provide all cooperation in the conduct of Census operations. Any attempt to enforce NPR will only jeopardise the 2021 Census,” finance minister Thomas Issac warned in a tweet.
“A sense of fear has been generated among the people. It is the government’s duty to help the people come out of their apprehensions and fear, and also to maintain law and order in the state. If NPR and NRC is implemented, it will give rise to an insecurity among people. That is why the state government took this decision,” the cabinet stated in an official release.
The NPR or National Population Register is a register of residents in the country containing demographic and biometric details. While the Census is a population exercise conducted once in a decade, the central government has decided to prepare the NPR between April 2020 and September 2020, with the exercise conducted at the local, sub district, district, state and national levels.
It may be noted that chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had even got a resolution passed against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and insisted that the state government is staying away from NPR since there were apprehensions among the public that activities related to NPR might lead to the implementation of NRC.
Last week, the chief minister’s office repeated the government’s stance on NPR by clarifying that the state will not undertake any works related to it. This was a clarification after Tahsildar of Thamarassery taluk in Kozhikode district issued a letter to a school principal stating that NPR is scheduled for this year.
The Pinarai Vijayan government has also moved the Supreme Court against CAA, which grants persecuted religious groups from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh right to citizenship in this country.