| Women of Lamlai take out a rally in Imphal on Monday. Picture by UB Photos |
Imphal, July 28: Chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh today said he would lead an all-party delegation to New Delhi to remind the Centre of the state’s demand for implementation of inner-line permit.
“An all-party delegation will meet the Prime Minister and the home minister to press for ILP after the Parliament session is over on August 15. Before the Delhi trip, an all-party meeting will be convened to discuss the issue,” Ibobi Singh announced in the Assembly.
The decision is an attempt to quell the growing unrest over ILP. The movement, spearheaded by the joint committee on inner-line permit system, a conglomerate of citizen organisations, has surged during the ongoing session of the Assembly to mount pressure on legislators to take a firm stand on the issue.
After three days of clashes between students and police on the streets of the state capital, the government had shut down educational institutions in Imphal East and Imphal West from Saturday till today. There were reports of daily rallies and confrontation between the police and the demonstrators, forcing the police to use tear gas shells and batons. The police used tear gas till late last night to disperse torch rallies carried out mainly by women.
Today also protesters staged sit-in and shops remained closed in support of the demand.
The cabinet reviewed the situation late last evening.
“The state government is taking the ILP issue very seriously. We are urging the Centre from time to time to implement ILP as resolved by the state Assembly,” Ibobi Singh said, expressing concern over the situation in the state.
The Assembly had adopted two resolutions, one in June 2012 and the other in July 2013, urging the Centre to implement ILP in Manipur. The chief minister said the resolutions were sent to Delhi and his government kept reminding the Centre of the wishes of the people of Manipur. Ibobi Singh had also led a delegation to Delhi after the resolutions were adopted to urge the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, to implement ILP in the state.
Ibobi Singh said when Manipur was a princely state, before its merger with the Indian Union on October 15, 1949, it had a system to regulate entry of foreigners. He said the ILP was to protect and safeguard the future of the indigenous people of the state.
He said his government would pursue the matter with the Centre till the ILP system, which was on the concurrent list, was in place in the state and urged the citizen’s joint committee to join hands with the government in the fight for ILP. He invited the committee to be part of the proposed delegation to Delhi, while urging them not to allow involvement of students in public agitation in the interest of their career.