| Suspected illegal migrants wait for verification of their identity and citizenship proof at Bengali High School in Imphal on Friday. Picture by UB Photos |
Imphal, Aug. 31: Police are finding it difficult to identify foreigners as many of the migrant non-Manipuris living in Imphal produced identification documents which could not be identified with certainty if they were fake or genuine. Some produced driving licences issued in Manipur.
The first round of verification process carried out yesterday enabled in detecting altogether 43 Myanmarese and Bangladeshi nationals.
The drive continued today, this time in city pockets where migrant population is concentrated, and by afternoon, six Bangladeshis were detected.
“It is difficult to identify foreigners as most of the migrants produced documents like voter identity cards, driving licences and resident certificates, whose genuineness could not be gauged with certainty,” a police officer who took part in the verification process said.
The police said many of the non-Manipuris also produced affidavits signed by THE oath commissioner, Manipur, claiming that they came from other states of India and now residing in Manipur.
Interestingly, the police found discrepancy in the actual number of tenants housed by an owner and the number given by the latter. The number would be invariably more.
The non-Manipuris are engaged in odd jobs, ranging from hawking goods, working as construction labourers, porters, cart-pullers, rickshaw-pullers, electricians and pipe works.
The drive came in the wake of the Assam violence where indigenous people and migrant people clashed, sending repercussions in other cities of the country.
It also came at a time when citizens’ bodies have been pressing for re-introduction of the inner line permit (ILP) system in Manipur to check influx of migrants.
“The drive is late but a welcome one. The detection of foreigners has proven our claim that the migrant population, illegally entering Manipur, is increasing. The drive should continue,” Sapamcha Jadumani, convener of the joint committee on ILP, a citizens’ body, said.
Jadumani demanded that the police should also verify whether any of the foreigners or migrants was involved in crimes and crosscheck to confirm residence certificates issued by deputy commissioners of their respective areas.
The committee is waiting for a response from the Centre on the resolution adopted by the Manipur Assembly on July 13 to urge the Centre to introduce the ILP system.
The Centre is yet to respond to the resolution, which has already been sent to the Union home ministry.
However, Union home minister of state Rameshchandra told the Lok Sabha on August 23 that there was no question of introducing the system in Manipur.
“Despite Rameshchandra’s statement we will wait for a response from the Centre. We will decide the next course of action after getting the response,” Jadumani said.