From a correspondent
Silchar, August 7: Members of Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) have strongly protested and expressed their concern over the ongoing agitations in Manipur demanding implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state. For the past few weeks, parts of Manipur including Imphal Valley, Jiribam sub-division and Jirighat in adjoining state of Assam have been whacked by protests demanding implementation of ILP. A 48 hour public curfew pressing for ILP was also called on August 1 by Joint Committee of Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS).
In a press-release, Bijit Kumar Singha, publicity secretary of SUCI (C), Cachar distract committee, said that the demand for ILP should not be at the cost of peace and stability in the region. According to the Constitution of India, a citizen of the country has the right to reside in any part of the tion. A majority of people residing in Jiribam were born and brought up in Manipur and hence should be considered as citizens of the state.
Bijit Kumar Singha said the current demand for ILP is being headed by JCILPS and has taken a serious turn with rallies, violent protest demonstration and clashes between police and public agitators. If the Okram Ibobi Singh led Manipur Government concedes to the demands for introducing ILP, non indigenous people particularly Bengali community will require an official document issued by Centre to enter the state. The Bengali community has been residing in the state for several generations.
Besides, ILP may seriously affect the economic prospects of Manipur which is among the poorest states of the country. The ILP demand in Manipur has as its driving force a xenophobic fear that the indigenous communities are in danger of being pushed to the margins by the settlers. The present population of Manipur is estimated to be around 27 lakh of which around 7 lakh people are non Manipuris. There has been no evidence of any large scale influx in the state.
The members of SUCI (C) said that they oppose the unconstitutiol demands of JCILPS which wants 1951 as the cut off date for ILP implementation. If it is accepted the Land Transfer Deeds concluded after 1951 will become null and void particularly affecting the non Manipuris who have settled in the state after the proposed cut off date. They expressed hope that the Centre will look into the matter and find a workable solution to the issue.