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Manipur group plans to resume ILP protest

Imphal, July 4: A citizens’ group spearheading the campaign for the implementation of inner-line permit (ILP) in Manipur, is gearing up to resume its agitation ahead of the Assembly session from July 11 to force lawmakers to take a fresh decision.

The announcement of the agitation today marked the second foundation day of the joint committee on the inner-line permit, which was formed by 30 civil organisations.

The organisations joined hands two years ago to launch the movement fearing serious socio-economic problems in Manipur because of unchecked influx of migrants.

According to the 2011 census, there are 7.04 lakh migrants out of Manipur’s population of 22,93,896.

The majority Meitei and indigenous population numbers are 7.51 lakh and 6.7 lakh respectively.

Most of the labour force like masons, barbers, hawkers, shoemakers and cobblers, washermen, electricians, painters, repair workers and porters, among others, comprise people mainly coming from outside the state.

An intense movement by the committee had forced the Assembly to take two decisions to urge the Centre to implement the ILP in Manipur but the Union government had rejected the proposal saying it was “unconstitutional”.

The committee feels the Assembly and the Okram Ibobi Singh government did not pursue the resolutions with the Centre seriously and the fresh movement was to force them to take up the issue seriously.

“We will resume the movement ahead of the Assembly session. It will be a peaceful and democratic movement to pressure the legislators to take the issue seriously and act accordingly to check the influx of outsiders by implementing the ILP,” Ibotombi Khuman, convener of the committee, said.

Khuman said sit-in demonstrations and public meetings, among others, would be organised ahead of and during the session.

He said the agitation was aimed at mounting pressure on the police checkgates to regulate entry into the state and stop transporters from bringing in outsiders.

The committee considers outsiders are those who come from states other than the Northeast and indigenous people of the region do not fall under this category.