IMPHAL, Sept 11: The Federation of Regional Indigenous Societies (FREINDS) has formed an expert committee consisting of selective legal luminaries, archivists, historians and academicians of the state of Manipur, to analyze the issue of increasing influx in the state and to draw a legal framework for the reintroduction of inner line permit (ILP) to offset the growing trend of demographic imbalance.
Speaking to media persons today, president of FREINDS Jadumani Sapamcha said that with the institution of the expert committee, the matter is now in the government’s court as to how sincerely it wants to pursue. “The fate of the people of Manipur is now in the hands of the state government”.
Significantly, the state assembly in its sitting recently discussed and approved of the idea of reintroducing ILP which was abolished by Himmat Singh, chief commissioner of Manipur on November 18, 1950. Subsequently, the matter was also raised in the cabinet meeting, said FRIENDS, however, the issue was deferred for want of detailed antecedent.
The agenda paper on the formation of the expert committee for the introduction of permit system or inner line regulations 1873 states that, “the social issue of the protection of minority Manipuries from the overwhelming inter-state migration within the framework of Indian republic has now become a serious political agenda for the state of Manipur.”
In this circumstance the need of the hour is to examine the issue thoroughly and also to prepare an appropriate constitutional legal framework immediately, so that the representatives of the people may have the opportunity of passing the bill at the earliest, the agenda adds.
The expert committee is chaired by Justice (retd.) RK Manisana Singh with president of FREINDS Sapamcha Jadumani as its convener. The other members of the committee are retd. Judge C Upendra Singh, ex-MLA Laisom Ibomcha, rtd. Prof. A Lokendra, rtd. Prof. Gangnumei Kamei, rtd lecturer H Kula Singh, lecturer K Shethajit and advocates like I Lalitkumar (sr.), Th. Manihar, M Gourahari etc.
The committee will be for a period of fifteen days counting from the first sitting, however, under unavoidable circumstances the time frame may be extended upto two months, stated the terms of reference of the agenda.
The object of the committee is to prepare an appropriate constitutional legal framework, including the draft bill to be introduced in the state assembly along with corresponding rules and regulations, for the protection of minority Manipuries (the Meiteis, tribals, castes, and other indigenous ethnic groups) from the unchecked inter-state migration from all over India which has endangered the future of the indigenous population, the agenda paper added.
The committee is required to look into various facets of the Constitution dealing with minorities and their protection, land laws of Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh and to revisit inner line regulations of 1875 as adopted in Nagaland etc.
Comparing the opportunity that has presented itself to a decisive “penalty kick”, Jadumani caution the state government to take the kick wisely and with the importance it deserves.