Silchar: The proposed enactment of Manipur People Bill, 2018 is giving many a sleepless nights.
Representatives of All Jiribam United Minority People's Organization (AJUMPO) have expressed their concern and submitted a memorandum to MP Sushmita Dev in Silchar urging her to take up the matter. The passing of the Bill on July 23, 2018, by the State Assembly and its perusal invade into the basic spirit of the Constitution of India. The objective of the Government of Manipur is to protect the people of Manipur and for maintenance of peace and public order to regulate the entry into and exit from Manipur for non Manipuri people in public interest and for the protection of the interest of the Scheduled Tribes.
But a careful reading of the said Bill, as stated in the memorandum, it gets clear that the Bill wants to issue inner line permit (ILP) and also intends to confer dual citizenship within the territory of Manipur. The main aim, it seems, of ILP system is to prevent settlement of other Indian in the states where ILP regime is prevalent. The historical fact that Manipur was neither a part of Bengal Province of British administration, rather a princely state till the date it became a part of Union of India and hence the Bill, 2018 which in guise of protecting Manipuri people is in fact giving the state a power to issue ILP.
It has been stated that setting 1951 as the base year for including the residents of Manipur as 'Manipuri people', it is imperative for the state of Manipur to possess National Register of Citizens (NRC) of the year 1951. But it has come to light that the government of Manipur did not maintain any record of its citizens for the year 1951 and the Union Home Ministry in a RTI reply to an applicant has stated that the Directorate of Census Operations, Manipur have not prepared any record pertaining to NRC of the year 1951.
The organization is apprehending that the government of Manipur by bringing this present Bill and particularly referring the base year as 1951 has in fact misled the House and people of Manipur, which has given to such a precarious situation which will be used by anti social elements to provoke hatred between people of Manipur and threatened the basic features of the Constitution of India. Moreover the Bill should have identified the parameters or the compass which would be the yardstick for identifying persons as 'Manipur people'. The memorandum has been signed by Gunadhor Das, president, and Md. Taj Uddin, general secretary, of the organization and Sadhan Purkayastha of CRPC.