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Strike in Manipur over Visitors & Migrant Workers bill

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  17 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT


IMPHAL March 16: Normal life in Manipur was affected today as a result of the wildcat general strike imposed by the Joint Committee on the Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) from midnight last night. The strike was called in protest against the passing of the Bill today by the Manipur Assembly. A two day special session of the House was summoned for the express purpose of tabling and passing the Manipur Regulation of Visitors,Tents and Migrt Workers Bill, 2015.

The JCILPS says that the Bill has not incorporated the five point demands which were made known to the chief minister in a lengthy memorandum. After a marathong deliberation yesterday it decided to reject the Bill or law when it is passed. The major demands of the committee are to deport the migrants who will be termed, as per its recommendations, as outsiders. Besides those who came to Manipur after 1951 demanded as the base year should not be allowed to possess land in Manipur.

However the chief minister Okram Ibobi made a rock firm stand saying that the migrants being Indian can possess land and can visit and stay anywhere in the country. This has dismayed the activists since they fear that the indigenous peoples will be swamped. In the 2001 census the population of the migrant workers in Manipur was next to the Meiteis, the majority community. The community wise break up or the 2011 census was not divulged for obvious reasons.

The committee feels that since the Bill was prepared without incorporating these demands it is not acceptable to the people. Shops were closed and schools and colleges wore a deseerted look. Besides traffic was affected. However there was no report of any untoward incdient.

The government has braced up for a long drawn war since the JCILPS will go ahead with agitations. The helplessness of the chief minister is understandable since the union home minister had written a letter informing the government that it is not possible to implement the ILP in Manipur now. The ILP in another nomenclature was lifted from Manipur from November 18, 1950. The central government is not explaining the double speak since the ILP has been in force in Mizoram, Aruchal Pradesh and galand all these years. This rank discrimition has fueled the anger of the people and in the past the government found it difficult to control the agitationists.

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