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Manipur set for showdown over migrants' law

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  18 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT


IMPHAL March 17: The Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) is not amused by the passing of the Manipur Regulation of Visitors, Tents and Migrant Workers Bill, 2015 in the Manipur Assembly yesterday.

In a counter move by the JCILPS which is rejecting the Bill, it has asked all migrant workers to close down their shops and business establishments today. Besides all of them should stay indoors, it said.

The ban order became effective from midnight. The restriction will end this evening. Police tried to force the migrant workers to open their shops inside the Imphal town. They threatened to break open the padlocks. However, there was no response these migrant workers know that they will be made accountable by the activists later.

Some other organisations are extending unqualified support to the JCILPS since they are also of the view the Bill is to promote the outsiders and not to protect the indigenous peoples.

Encouraged by the response from the people to the strike call, the JCILPS is likely go ahead with the various forms of agitations since it is not accepting the Bill which was passed by the House.

The population of the migrant workers has become alarming and there is genuine fear among the people that one day they will be swamped. In the 2001 Census, the population of the indigenous workers was next to the Meiteis, the majority community. They have higher population than all tribes put together. There is fear that by now the figure must

have increased and the Census report (community wise populations) has not been made known to the people.

Fearing that sooner than expected, the Manipuris shall become strangers in their own homeland there has been a campaign for re-implementation of the Inner Line Permit in the State. It had been in force, albeit in another me.

It was lifted on November 18, 1950. However, the ILP has been in force in Mizoram, Aruchal Pradesh and galand.

The state government wrote a letter to the Union government demanding the ILP system. However, the Union government had informed the State government “it is not desirable to do so now”.

It was not explained why it is not so since it is in force in three NE states.

As far as the JCILPS is concerned the passing of the Bill does not concern it. It has chalked out a long drawn agitatiol programme and Manipur is likely to experience trouble.

It was seen in the past that police and paramilitary forces could not contain agitations by the wings of students and women of the JCILPS.

They have started flexing their muscles and the government knows that it has been pushed on the edge.

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