KSO, Jiribam CSOs take up cudgel to check NRC impact

JIRIBAM/IMPHAL, 4th Aug: In view of the possibility of influx of illegal immigrants from among the over 40 lakh people, who could not find a berth in the recently published final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the neighbouring state of Assam, civil society organisations of Manipur, including activists of Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO), Jiribam-Tamenglong Zone have taken up the cudgel to verify identification documents of people who enter Manipur from Assam side.

From early morning Saturday, volunteers of JCILPS, Jiribam branch and students’ wing, KSO, DESAM-Jiri Local Council, AMSU-Jiribam District Committee, IPSA-Jiribam Branch and other Jiribam-based organisations maintained vigil at police check posts and different areas in Jiribam sector of the National Highway-37.

Along with stopping all passenger carriers and trucks coming from Assam side, the volunteers also carried out minute examination of identity cards furnished by the non-locals. The volunteers detected four passengers who could not produce any valid identity documents and they were consequently asked to return back.

Later during the day, a joint media briefing was conducted at the office of AMSU committee where committee president Yuremcha Sanjib informed that checking of passengers was carried out to foil bid by non-Manipuris to enter the state. With lakhs of people unable to make the Assam NRC cut, possibility of these unauthorised settlers trying to settle down in Manipur cannot be ruled out, he said and expressed gratitude to volunteers of all students and civil society organisations who joined hands in maintaining vigil along the inter-state and national highways.

Sanjib, who is also the JCILPS Students’ Wing convener, informed that as announced by the JCILPS all vehicles coming from Assam side would be thoroughly checked in order to foil any infiltration bids. Confirming denial of entry to four people, he explained that the quartet were asked to return to where they came from as they were neither enlisted in the NRC nor could they produce any identifiable documents.

Noting with appreciation the intensified efforts by the Jiribam district administration and police to check entry of illegal immigrants into the state, he opined that the recent publication of NRC in Assam and over 40 lakh people unable to make it to the citizenship list is a grim reminder about threat faced by the native people in the entire north-eastern states, Manipur in particular.

Further stating that the NRC could be construed as a lesson to adopt an effective mechanism to uphold interest of the indigenes, he expressed confidence that volunteers of various students and civil societies active in Jiribam will not let their guard down.

The convener also said that JCILPS will be undertaking different campaigns so as ensure that Manipur does not pay the price of the Assam NRC spill-over and appealed to all organisations to contribute their mite in safeguarding the indigenous communities of the state. JCILPS Jiribam Branch chairman Mutum Hemanta Mangang and functionaries of different organisations were also present during the media briefing.

Meanwhile, in compliance with the Union Home Minister’s directive, the Manipur government has stepped up vigilance against persons who will be displaced in Assam following the NRC’s publication, officials said on Saturday. Director General of Police LM Khaute, has instructed police stations in the border districts to screen all suspicious persons entering Manipur.

“All police stations in this district are alerted. We have formed five teams to be on the lookout of suspicious persons entering or leaving Manipur,” S Ibomcha, Superintendent of Police of border district Tengoupal, said. The police are handicapped by non-availability of modern gadgets with the result that the Aadhaar cards and other documents cannot be examined to see if they are genuine.

“Day and night, police are patrolling the routes the migrants may use. Some boats are used to patrol along the Jiri river,” Moirangthem Mobi, Superintendent of Police of Jiribam district bordering Silchar district in Assam, said.

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, who also holds home portfolio, said most of the persons whose names cannot be included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of Assam will try to come to Manipur. He had already instructed the Jiribam Police to be on alert and additional forces had been rushed. Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System have also started checking persons who are entering Manipur.

Recently, police dismantled over ten bamboo bridges across the Jiri river used by the illegal migrants while sneaking into Manipur. 

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