IMPHAL, July 14: The base year for identifying migrants in the Inner Line Permit Bill that the BJP-led government is introducing in the monsoon session of the State Assembly is likely to be 1951.
The draft bill tabled by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had mentioned the base year as 1972. However, stakeholders, including two Congress MLAs, R.K. Anand and N. Bijoy, had insisted on 1951.
The CM has vowed to make changes in the Bill before it is formally tabled in the assembly. At a meeting held in the office of the chief minister on Thursday, he said, “There is room for making changes. I appeal to all to come forward and not resort to strikes”.
In the face of a growing population of non-locals, there have been serious demands for protecting the indigenous people. A student was gunned down during agitations while demanding an ILP Act. Nine tribals had died during protests opposing the demand of the non-tribals.
Earlier, the President refused to give assent to the bill while two others were returned to the Manipur government. All the bills had been passed by the Manipur assembly during the Congress rule.
The ILP Act has been in force in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. It was revoked in Manipur in 1950. The Manipur government’s plea to reimpose the ILP was rejected by the Centre.
Activists say the ILP is not meant to ban entry of non-locals, but to regulate the entry of outsiders. They say as a result of ‘disinformation,’ some sections of tribals feared that their land would be usurped.
The Manipur government placed the draft bill in public domain for a wider discussion. All sections feel that since people have discussed it, the Bill should be passed in the Assembly without a hitch. (IANS)