Staying away from Census makes one non-citizen: Mizo CM

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Shillong, Feb 19 (PTI) The section of Mizoram�sChristian population who were staying away from the Censusprocess due to a superstition relating to an interpretation ofthe Bible might not be able get benefits of governmentschemes, the state�s Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said today.

"They will be deprived of the benefits of citizenship.

We will not be able to look after them, because they are notour citizens," Lal Thanhawla said, after inaugurating theMizoram House and a Mizoram Boys Hostel here.

He described this section who have refused to enrolthemselves in the Census as ''non-citizens'', but said the stategovernment was making every effort to include every genuinecitizen in the census.

"We have heard many times that people are reluctant toregister their names in the Census. They believe we are notthe people of this world. We are the people of God. So strongis their belief that they do not want to register themselves.

Not only in the Census, some have even withdrawn theirchildren from schools," the chief minister said.

"They rejected all the worldly things. They havedifferences with other Christian denominations," said RLalnunzira, secretary of the North East Church Council, whowas accompanying Lal Thanhawla.

The fear of the ''Beast'' or the Devil in theChristian-dominated state of Mizoram has caused hundreds offamilies to refuse to enrol their names in the NationalPopulation Register (NPR) taken up along with the Census 2011.

The dread stems from Chapter 13 Verse 17 of the Bookof Revelations in the Bible which says "... and that no manmight buy or sell, save he that had the mark or the name ofthe Beast or the number of his name."

The problem has stemmed from the Unique IdentificationAuthority of India stipulating that no one could buy or sellproperty without the Unique ID card.

According to adherents of the belief, since buying orselling of property made one a follower of the Beast, onehaving the UID card, which authorised property transactions,automatically made one a follower of the Devil.

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