Dr. Khomdon Lisam
Two Police officers came to my residence at Palace Compound on 26 March, 2015 at about 1.30 p.m. The senior Police Officer said to me “ L. Ibomcha , MLA has filed an FIR no. 88(03) 2015 Imphal Police Station under section no. 1244 a /186/189/505(2) IPC. Pabung . Did you publish an article in the newspaper in which you defamed Shri L. Ibomcha singh , Hon’ble MLA of Keisamthong Constituency”. I said “why should I defame him. I am only bringing the facts before the people.” Then he showed me the para of the article in which Shri Ibomcha singh got offended . The para is taken out from my article entitled “How can we salvage the Manipur State Legislative Assembly ? “. The para reads like this “the mistake our Honourable Chief Minister Shri O. Ibobi Singh has committed is his too much reliance and confidence in Shri L. Ibomcha Singh, Opposition MLA , who happened to be the Law Secretary at one time. He is using his legal knowledge and expertise in destroying Manipur.
Honourable Chief Minister might have genuinely wanted to fulfil the demands of the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS). But Shri L. Ibomcha Singh might have warned or threatened the Chief Minister about the possibility of declaring such an act as unconstitutional and the possibility of the Act being struck down by the Supreme Court or the High Court. They could not see any other option.” I told the Police Officer that we respect Shri L. Ibomcha Singh . He is not only MLA but he was also at one time the secretary /Law under the Government of Manipur. He is a legal expert . He was a member of the drafting Committee. He enjoy the faith and confidence of the Hon’bleChief Minister , Manipur. I myself and the members of the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) were expecting that he will be able to bring out an effective law for protecting the indigenous people (natives ) of Manipur. On the contrary , he was instrumental in bringing out the present Bill entitled “ The Manipur Regulation of Visitors, Tenants and Migrant Workers Bill”. His actions has disappointed the people. The JCILPS announced 18 hours band and demanded to withdraw the Bill. The young people and women are sitting in Dharna , protested everywhere. The State Government also initiated a series of repressive measures . Any time, violence may erupt anywhere. This present Bill is meant to protect the migrant workers and not to protect the indigenous people (natives ) of Manipur. If you want to arrest me for writing this article , you can arrest me now. The Police Officer replied “ No Pabung. We came in civilian vehicle to evade public notice, we do not come in police vehicle . We want to know only the facts. Then I briefed them about why the JCILPS is doing this mass movement on Inner Line Permit System, what is Inner Line Permit System etc. The Police Officer said “ Pabung , you may arrange for an Anticipatory Bail. “ I said I am not interested to go for an Anticipatory Bail. You can come and arrest me any time. I am ready to go to jail. I will invigorate the JCILPS movement by going to jail. The Police Officers said that they will discuss the matter with their senior officers and inform me again. They left the place.
Nowadays it is very dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. Who will Protect us from Our Government? Anyway, I want to ask the following 46 questions to Shri L. Ibomcha singh , Hon’ble MLA for his clarification to the people .
- Are you a legal expert ? For me, you are second to none.
- Did you work as the Secretary /Law at one time under the state government.
- Are you enjoying the faith and confidence of the Hon’ble Chief Minister as a legal expert ?
- Were you a member the Drafting Committee of the present Bill ?
- Were you a member the All Political Parties Committee on the present Bill representing NCP?
- Did you agree/accept to the Title of the present Bill “The Manipur Regulation of Visitors , Tenants and Migrant Workers Bill” ? This Title is dull, not appealing, misleading and does not reflect the main objectives of the Bill The suggested title of the Bill was ” Protection of the Indigenous people of Manipur Bill-2015 “.This title is appealing, attractive, reflects the main objectives of the Bill and will be able to attract the attention of the Government of India. The second option may be the “Manipur Inner Line Permit Bill -2015” . The third option may be Manipur Migrants Regulation Bill- 2015. The present title should be dropped without further consideration. If you do not agree, who pressurised you to agree ?
- Did you agree/accept to the objects and reasons of the present Bill ? The stated objects and reasons of the present Bill is “ to maintain tranquillity and public order in the interest of general public and visitors by registering the visitors , tenants and migrant workers “. The JCILP is very clear about the objectives of the Bill. The main objectives of the Bill may be (1) to protect the identity, culture, lands, language, script and business of the indigenous people and permanent residents of Manipur (2) to regulate the entry , employment and settlement of migrants to Manipur. If you do not agree, who pressurised you to agree?
- Did you agree/accept to the definitions of “Permanent Resident” of the present Bill ? The definition given in the Bill is : “Permanent Residents“ means “a person who is ordinarily a resident of state of Manipur”. This is really very dangerous. I feel that this definition will give a blanket right to every migrant worker to buy land and settle in Manipur. Is it not against the general interest of the indigenous /native people of Manipur . Once His Excellency, the Governor of Manipur gives assent to this bill, it will be very difficult to amend the Bill. Once this right is given with the assent of the Governor, any amendment will amount to forfeiture of this right with complicated legal consequences. Why did not you consider this aspect as a legal expert. You can say that Permanent Resident means a person born or settled in Manipur prior to 18 November, 1950 (day on which the permit system was abolished by Chief Commissioner Himmat Singh )
- Did you agree/accept to omission of protection of land . At present any outside migrant worker can purchase land in the valley areas of Manipur . Did you agree to the omission of protection of land for the indigenous/native people of Manipur. There is no provision on ban of purchase of land by migrant workers. The legal experts have recommended for insertion of this clause on ban of purchase of land by migrant workers but you have ignored the recommendation of legal experts and you are instrumental for this omission which is against the general interest of the indigenous/native people of Manipur.
- Did you influence or agree /accept the Bill without Punishment Clauses ? So far my information goes, you have also pointed out that under Article 35 (a)(ii) of Indian Constitution, the State can not pass a law with punishment clauses . Is it correct ? Karnataka State Assembly had passed an Act namely the Karnataka scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (Prohibition of transfer of certain lands) act, 1978 wherein a conviction and a punishment with imprisonment which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees or with both was prescribed. If Karnataka can do it , why not Manipur State Legislative Assembly do it. That means , you are misguiding the Hon’ble Chief Minister.
- Are you aware : the legal experts have pointed out that without punishment clauses like detention , the law will not be effective . It will be like paper tiger “ ? If so why did you fail to provide Punishment clauses in the Bill. ? People may interpret your expertise as a shallow knowledge of law.
- Are you aware of the 7th Schedule List 2 (State List Entry 64 –Offences against Laws of the Indian Constitution under which the state is empowered to enact laws connected with offences ? If so, why not you include the punishment clauses in the Bill ?
- Are you aware that the Permit system introduced by the Manipur Durbar in 1901 was abolished by Mr. Himmat Singh, the then Chief Commissioner of Manipur on 18 November, 1950 without the approval of the Government of India, allowing free entry, unchecked influx of migrant workers from other states?
- Are you aware that many political leaders are using the migrant workers as their vote banks- registering their names in the electoral rolls ? If so, why not you include a clause for deletion of names of migrant workers who entered Manipur after 18 November , 1950 (day on which the permit system was abolished by Himmat Singh) from the electoral rolls in all affected constituencies of Manipur.
- Are you aware that the Manipur Durbar devised a very effective system of controlling the entry of Non-Manipuris called the Permit or Passport system in 1901when the population of Manipur was only 284,465( 1901 Census) ?
- Are you aware that This Permit system in Manipur was brought under the Foreigners Department on 1 November, 1931 ?
- Are you aware that the Government of India has approved retention of the said Permit System in Manipur vide Mr. G.E.D Walker, Advisor to the Governor of Assam letter no. 120/47/C- 26-27 dated 17th January, 1948.?
- Are you aware that the massive influx of outside migrants is likely to produce a demographic imbalance in Manipur in the near future ? According to 2001 Census, the population of outside migrants in Manipur was 707,488 as against the Meitei population of 751822, tribal population of 670,782.
- Are you aware that there is a regulation called the “Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation -1873” passed by Lord Northbrook on 27 August, 1873 ?
- Are you aware that the “Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation -1873 is now in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram ?
- Are you aware that the Mizoram State has adopted Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation -1873 on 8 September, 2006 ?
- Do you think adoption of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation -1873 is only for tribal areas? If so, why did the British extended this regulation to Kamrup, Sibsagar, Lakhimpur of Assam which are not the tribal areas ?
- Do you think adoption of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation -1873 by Manipur is unconstitutional ? If so, why and how these regulation is in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram ?
- Are you aware that the influx of outsiders has deprived the indigenous Manipuri population of their ancestral land , food, employment , manual work , education etc.?
- Are you aware that influx of outsiders has posed a threat to the Manipuri identity and culture of the indigenous Manipuris.
- Are you aware that influx of outsiders has posed a threat to Manipuri language , scripts and local dialects due to ever increasing influence of Hindi as the link language and “Bazar Bhasa “ in trade and commerce.
- Are you aware that influx of outsiders has posed a threat to survival of local labourers due to uncontrolled and unchecked influx of cheap labourers from other states and from Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar .
- Are you aware that influx of outsiders has posed a threat to reservation quota for scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes as many of them are also eligible under the same reservation quota.
- Are you aware that influx of outsiders has deprived the job opportunities of indigenous population
- Are you aware that influx of outsiders has deprived of higher educational and Technical educational opportunities like MBBS, BDS, BSc ( Nursing) , BE etc, of indigenous population as may of the outsiders are also eligible to apply for the same .
- Are you aware that influx of outsiders has deprived of competitive posts like MCS, MPS and other high ranking posts of indigenous population as the outsiders are also eligible to apply .We have seen that some of the outsiders holding very high posts in the Government and this is happening at the cost of our local talents.
- Are you aware that influx of outsiders has posed a threat to Law and Order , Public Security and Safety as many of them indulged in black market , crimes
- Are you aware that influx of outsiders has posed a threat to survival of small ethnic tribal groups like Aimol ( 2643/2001), Chothe( 2675/2001), Koirao (1200/2001) , Koireng(1056/2001), , Monsang- 1634/2001) , Moyon ( 1,710/2001), Ralte( 110/2001), Salhte 311/2001)
- Are you aware that influx of outsiders has increased the spread of HIV /AIDS as may of the migrant workers are also indulging in high risk behaviour in sex and drug use .
- Are you aware that some of migrant workers are very keen to contest election and become MLA and Minister. Earlier , we had one Nepali MLA also.
- Are you aware that on 2nd March, 2006, I . Hemochandra , Hon’ble MLA had initiated a discussion on Inner Line Permit in the Manipur State Assembly?
- Are you aware that on 26 August, 2011, Shri N. Mangi Singh Hon’ble MLA put up a Calling Attention Motion on Inner Line Permit System in Manipur in the Manipur Legislative Assembly and the matter is pending with the State Cabinet since 27 August, 2011.
- Are you aware that on 27 August, 2011, the State Cabinet under leadership of Hon’ble Chief Minister, Manipur had discussed about the need to introduce the Inner Line Permit system in Manipur .
- Are you aware that the Manipur State Cabinet under leadership of our Hon’ble Chief Minister passed a resolution on 12 July, 2012 and urge the Government of India (GOI) to extend the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 (ILP) to Manipur.
- Are you aware that the Manipur Legislative Assembly passed a resolution on 13 July, 2012 to extend and adopt the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation , 1873 (ILP). The resolution was submitted to GOI on 3rd August, 2012.
- Are you aware that Dr. J. Suresh Babu, Principal Secretary (Home) in his letter no. 1/1(12) /2011-Home dated 3rd August , 2012 has sent a request to the Home Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, GOI to extend the provisions of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation -1873 to the state of Manipur.
- Are you aware that the population of indigenous/native American Indians has been reduced from 100% at the time of arrival of Columbus to 0.1 % to 0.2% in 2006 (the U.S. Census Bureau-2006)
- Are you aware that the population of indigenous/native Australians has been reduced from 100% at the time of arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Botany Bay in January 1788to establish a penal colony to just 2.4% of Australia’s total in 2001 (Quadrant. https://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2008/451/who-are-indigenous-australians.)
- Are you aware that the population of indigenous/native people of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has been reduced from 100% at the time of establishment of a Penal Colony in 1789 to hardly 1000 in 2011 ( “Andaman & Nicobar Islands at a glance”. Andamandt.nic.in. http://andamandt.nic.in/profile.htm.)
- Are you aware that the indigenous peoples, who accounted for 95% of the population of Tripura in 1931 census, have been reduced to a mere 31% in the 1991 census mainly due to influx of refugees from East Pakistan. Even the names of different villages, hamlets, rivers, tributaries, markets, area, hills, hillocks, towns etc had been changed to suit the tongue of Bengali refugees, who had since became majority population. The unchecked and uncontrolled population invasion from East Pakistan has caused serious , social, political, economic and demographic impact which has destroyed the identity , culture and traditions and language of the indigenous people of Tripura .
- Are you serious and committed to protect the identity, culture, customs, land, language , religion, mineral resources, business, employment opportunities of the indigenous people /natives of Manipur.
If so, why are you afraid to initiate an appropriate law to fulfil the wishes of the people.
What we are doing is for the future generation of Manipur- for our children, for our motherland, for our honour. Rambo said “ Live for nothing or die for something. Denis Fonvizin once said ” A fool is very dangerous when in power.” Once Charles de Gaulle said “I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.” These quotations become very relevant in the context of Manipur these days.
I am not conveying any disrespect to you. But the people have the right to know the facts. I have the right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression as guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. My going to jail for this cause is immaterial to me.
If you want to debate this matter in the DDK/AIR/ISTV/Impact TV for wider coverage, I am ready to participate.