Committee for NRC update in state, Lup seeks Govt clarity on CAB

IMPHAL,4th Aug: Expressing concern over sustainability of the indigenous people of Manipur, the Working Committee on Update of NRC in Manipur has demanded the state government to update and publish National Register of Citizens (NRC) of the state.

Addressing media persons at AIMS office here on Saturday, committee member and DESAM vice-president N Edison said that DESAM, ANSAM and AIMS have been jointly taking up initiatives to bring solution to different issues in the state. Since last year, the committee, which was formed by the three students’ bodies, has been demanding the government to update NRC of the state by submitting memorandum on February 23 and August 2 last year.

However, the state government has not given any reply in this regard, which is unfortunate for the state and its people. In the wake of Assam government publishing the final draft of NRC which marked around 40 lakh populations as non-citizens of the country, the major question that lies ahead is whether Assam government will flush out those illegal immigrants or not.

In the event of Assam flushing out those immigrants, Manipur is a potential destination for these immigrants and the state needs to remain vigilant to fight this inevitable fallout, he said. While appreciating the measures taken up by the government by constituting committees and maintaining close vigil in influx prone areas, he said that remaining satisfied with those measures would not be wise. Instead, the government should intensify its measures and update NRC of the state at the earliest, he said while informing that the committee will submit another rejoinder to the state government on Monday. Besides, the committee will launch a series of campaign to draw attention of the government in this regard, he added.

AIMS convener Longjam Abothe said that there are incidences of native people facing extinction and migrants dominating their native places. A joint effort of the government and the public is the need of the hour to prevent such threat of extinction by small indigenous communities of the state, he said while demanding the government to take up necessary initiatives for updating NRC.

Former ANSAM president Seth Satshang deliberated on the need for a joint effort of the people to save the indigenous communities of the state. State level and district level monitoring committees alone could not fight the fallout of Assam’s NRC. The state needs its own NRC update to protect its indigenous population, he maintained.

Meanwhile, All Club, Organisation, Association and Meira Paibi Lup (ACOAM-Lup) has demanded the state government to take a firm decision regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 by holding an assembly session at the earliest.

Pointing out the contradiction in the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and the Manipur People Bill, an ACOAM-Lup statement issued by its assistant IPR secretary Th Baleshwar, said that definitions of the Manipur people as mentioned in the Manipur People Bill and the base year for identification of the non-locals are in contradiction to the permission to be given to migrant Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, etc., from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan for settlement in the country if they have been settling since 2014. Therefore, the Citizenship Amendment Bill will certainly supersede the Manipur People Bill which will result in rise in influx of non-locals. As such, the aspiration of the native people of Manipur to have constitutional protection would be shattered, if the state government does not oppose implementation of CAB in the state.

Therefore, the state government should hold an assembly session to discuss the issue and should raise objections in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing monsoon session. Otherwise, the people could react against the elected representatives including MPs and MLAs of the state, Baleshwar cautioned.

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