IMPHAL, July 6: The movement for restoration of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system received a shot in the arm with a 72 year old KB Sharma beginning an indefinite hunger strike today at Kwakeithel Akham Leikai community hall.
KB Sharma is the advisor of Federation of Regional Indigenous Societies (FRIENDS), the prime mover of the ILP movement.
The movement was given a fresh impetus yesterday with the formation of a Joint Committee on ILP system comprising of various civil society organizations like NIPCO, HERICOUN, AMSU, DESAM, KSA, SUK, SWAK, TKS, LIPUL, ICHAM, Zeliangrong Union ANM and Komrem Union besides FRIENDS.
The hunger striker KB Sharma hails from Thongju Part II, Imphal and is a nationally acclaimed theatre artiste.
KB Sharma exuded confidence that the present Manipur assembly will pass the ILP resolution to fulfill the desire of the people.
He said, he will continue his fast till the demand for ILP is fulfilled and he is ready to sacrifice his life for the future of the state.
A number of sit-in-protest was organized at various places including the venue of indefinite hunger striker at Kwakeithel Akham Leikai.
Speaking at the sidelines of the protest HERICOUN President Mutum Churamani said, the ILP movement is for the future of Manipur and appealed to all sections of the society to support it.
He further said that the movement should not be linked with any anti-outsider movement.
If the demand for ILP is not fulfilled till July 13 this year the committee is ready to take the movement further, he added.
Meanwhile, police tried to disperse the protestors at the Kwakeithel community hall which failed.
Sit-in-protests wedre held at Malom Tuliyaima, Patsoi Part III, Langthabal Thong Ahanbi Bazar and Langthabal Phura Makhong.
Newmai News Network adds: It is worthy of mentioning that spearheaded by Federation for Regional Indigenous Society (FREINDS) there have been sit-in-protest in most parts of the state capital Imphal these days demanding for the implementation of ILP system in Manipur.
According to the 2001 census report, there were more than 7,00,000 migrants in Manipur, which is much more than the tribal population of the state, and so it is high time for the government to recognize the danger of the possibility of a higher rise in the population of migrants with the train reaching the capital of the state, cautioned hunger striker KB Sharma.
He urged the government to make sure that the ILP system is passed as an Act in the coming monsoon session of the state assembly and implemented at the earliest, so as to save the indigenous people of the state from being minorities in their own land.
United Committee Manipur (UCM) had said there are 7, 05, 588 outsiders in Manipur according to the 2001 census while the Meitei population is 7, 51, 422 and the total population of the tribals is 6, 70, 782. The Meitei Muslims (Pangals) have the population of 1, 57, 204.