SILCHAR, July 2: Along with other organizations of Barak Valley, All Assam Manipuri Students’ Union (AAMSU) is planning to go for agitation if their demand for making 2014 voters’ list as the cut-off date for NRC update is not met. The insistence on 1951 legacy data or 1971 voters’ list has created serious problem for those among the community who have no altertive documents as demanded. Addressing a press-meet here today in the COCPIN office at Itkhola, AAMSU president Seram Herajit Singh who was assisted by F Loketh Singh, vice president, said Manipuris have been living in different parts of Assam with largest concentration in Cachar.
According to the 2001 census, Manipuri population in the state was 1,54,059 and 40,000 voters. Herajit Singh quoted an official record to establish that Manipuris have been living in Assam since 1770. He however modified the figure and claimed that they have been living since the 16th century. He also pointed out that the people of his community are neither foreigners nor outsiders. But the way, modalities for update have been fixed and framed has created problems for many who are uble to trace out or find relevant documents of 64 or 44 years ago.
F Loketh Singh found some sort of design to deny citizenship rights to linguistic minorities of the state. He claimed a large chunk of the more than 3.5 lakh Manipuris would be deprived of being part of the NRC and subsequently of the voters’ lists.
Okram Churamani Singha, former principal, Gurucharan College, on the basis of an order dated January 14, 1928, passed by J P Mills, Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, said that Manipuris first cleared the jungle and settled at Lakhipur 100 years ago. The order was passed in the context of a dispute over a burningghat on the bank of river Barak which some other inhabitants of another community wanted its removal.
The Deputy Commissioner expressed his ibility to remove the burningghat because government long after built a dak bungalow and mohorir’s quarters. It will remain where it is unless the Manipuris of their own free will remove it. J P Mills’s order makes it clear that Manipuris were the first to settle in Lakhipur long ago. Okram Churamani Singha said Manipuris being the oldest settlers of Cachar should not be made the victims of harassment in the me of NRC update. Other who were present at the press-meet included S Kamalakanta Singha, ex president AAMSU and advisor Y Ram Kumar Singha.