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Movement over ILP gathers momentum

Imphal, Aug. 9: There is no let-up in the movement for the introduction of inner-line permit (ILP) to regulate entry of outsiders in Manipur, although a committee is examining the issue.

The movement, spearheaded by Joint Committee on ILP System in Manipur, a conglomerate of citizens’ groups, has gained widespread support. An all-party meeting chaired by chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh on Wednesday constituted a political committee headed by deputy chief minister Gaikhangam, who is also the home minister, to explore the possibilities of framing a legislation to protect indigenous people of the state.

Seventeen political parties that attended Wednesday’s meeting mooted the idea of a state legislation after the Centre did not respond to two Assembly resolutions urging the Centre to introduce ILP in Manipur.

The committee held its first meeting today. The students’ wing of the joint committee also took out a motorcycle rally in the valley today in support of the demand.

Ibotombi Khuman, the convener of the joint committee, flagged off the rally from Thangmeiband Athletics Union ground here.

“We demand the ILP to protect and safeguard future of the indigenous people of the state. The unchecked influx of migrants and illegal immigrants has severely threatened the socio-economic future of the Manipuris,” Khuman said. He demanded that the political committee speed up its work.

“We will continue the agitation until ILP is implemented in Manipur,” Khuman said. About 200 students took part in the bike rally.

Rickshawpullers took out a similar rally in Imphal.

The political committee began its sittings today to consult legal experts and intellectuals on enacting legislation to regulate entry of outsiders to Manipur at the office of the deputy chief minister. The committee was told to submit its report “as soon as possible”. In another development, the government last night unconditionally released 28 supporters of ILP, who were arrested and jailed.