STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 22nd Dec:
The government will try to introduce a Bill specifically for the protection of indigenous people of the state as soon as possible, Chief Minister N Biren Singh has assured.
The chief minister gave the assurance while responding to a calling attention motion moved by MLA K Meghachandra with regard to the threat of launching agitation in pursuance of the demand for implementation of Inner Line Permit System during Friday's Assembly session.
CM Biren, who is also in-charge of Home, said that the government takes the issue of Inner Line Permit system as very sensitive and important.
Stating that the root cause of the issue stemmed from bringing in of migrant workers by the truck drivers on the sly, he further commented on the negligence of SDOs and SDCs in issuing land pattas to migrants without proper verification and the practice of adding migrant workers in the voters’ list as vote bank compounding the problem.
To restrict infiltration of non-locals with no proper documents, the CM said, continuous and consistent verification is being done at vital places such as Ukhrtul, Jiribam, Tengnoupal, Mao and Churachandpur border areas. Two temporary police pickets have been opened and additional forces have deployed for patrolling in border areas of Jiribam. Moreover, patrolling on boats is being done to check infiltration, without depending on Assam Rifles.
As per the record of Thursday, the police have sent back 175 non locals with no proper documents from Jiribam check post. Also, out of 7 Rohingya migrants who infiltrated, one has been apprehended and efforts are underway to nab the remaining, the CM informed the House.
Speaking about the rejection of Protection of Manipur Peoples' Bill 2015 by the President of India, the CM said that the state government will try to rectify the shortcomings and introduce a new Bill, while adding that it will take time to process a new and consensus Bill.
He further informed the House that the state government is in communication with Joint Committee for Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) and that a consultative committee as well as a draft committee have been constituted.
Stressing on inclusion of tribal leaders in the consultative committee, he said that a list of community leaders is being prepared for the purpose.
The government is determined about the Bill as the number of non-locals are more in some parts of the state, the chief minister reiterated, and appealed to all the members of the House to help in finding out the infiltrated non-locals in each constituency/constituencies (voter list), so that the task may be completed soon.
Checking has been intensified in the border districts and the police have rounded up some 560 persons of doubtful nationality, the Chief Minister told the House. Of them, 105 undocumented ones were forced back.
A total of 178 undocumented persons were rounded up at Jiribam and unauthorised bamboo bridges used by the migrants were pulled down, Biren said. He appealed to one and all to be ‘sincere’ on the issue.
“Truck drivers are bringing the outsiders and land is being allotted to them by officials.
Some politicians use them as vote banks. All MLAs should conduct a survey in their respective constituencies to establish how many outsiders are there and inform me accordingly,” the Chief Minister said.
Raising the calling attention motion, MLA K Meghachandra pointed out that led by JCILPS, various agitations had been undertaken by the people of the state to press the demand for implementation of Inner Line Permit System. Two students had also lost their lives in the process. Currently, JCILPS is launching a campaign of pasting stickers and posters on the vehicles.
He then implored the CM to introduce a new Bill and set a deadline for introduction of the Bill.
Meghachandra, who insisted on the introduction of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in Manipur, said: “Activists are threatening to start the ILP agitations again and there should be a time frame to prepare the bills.”
New ILP bills would be drafted to protect the indigenous people, Biren assured the House.
The Congress MLA said that the ILP system was already in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
Underlining the need for the ILP system, Meghachandra said that in 1948 the population of outsiders in Manipur was 2,719. According to the 2001 census, their population increased to 7,40,488 which is higher than the majority community in the state.
The total population of the majority community and the Manipuri Muslims is 9,18,266, the 2001 census said.