Government and JCILPS dialogue only solution to present issue: Senior Citizens Society

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IMPHAL July 20: The government and leaders of the agitating parties should loosen up on their rigid stances and come together to end the present impasse regarding the demand for the ILPS, said Senior Citizens for Society secretary Khaidem Mani.

Speaking at a press conference called at Keishamthong Laisom Leikai today, Mani said even though the society supports the legitimate demands of the JCILPS, the society appeals to both the parties to sit down together and collaborate in the preparation of the new bill.

He said `We feel that the government`™s timeline of three months for preparing the new bill is too long, but at the same time feel that the 15 days timeline of the JCILPS is a little too short.`

We propose the timeline to be within one month and appeal to both parties to agree on the same, he said.

Further appealing for dialogue between the two sides, he said the Senior Citizens Society would be happy to facilitate any such dialogue between the government and the JCILPS.

Mani continued, the SCS also demand punitive actions against those involved in the death of Sapam Robinhood and that the State government should construct a memorial in remembrance of his sacrifice.

The SCS would also like to appeal to the public especially the academicians and intelligentsia to make constructive suggestions on the issue instead of sensationalizing it, he said.

At the same time, the government should also ensure re-opening of educational institutions immediately, he continued.

SCS general secretary Laishram Sadananda Singh also expressed concern over the different paths chosen by the government and the JCILPS on the ILPS issue.

He explained the core objective of the movement is to protect the indigenous people through the ILPS or a similar law or even by amending or expanding an existing law.

There is also the possibility of appropriately amending the MLRLR Act 1960 to restrict the sale of land to non-domicile citizens, he continued.

He pointed out that the title of the bill which was passed and recently withdrawn was very misleading. He also suggested that besides improving the content of the new bill, the title should also be appropriate.

He suggested the imperative need to hire a constitutional expert while drafting a feasible bill and also emphasized that a dialogue between the government and the JCILPS is the only solution to the situation.

He further appealed to the JCILPS to positively respond to the invitation from the government.

Sadananda also expressed his concern regarding the delay in performing the funeral rites of late Sapam Robinhood whose body still lies in JNIMS morgue.

`It is an undeniable fact that Robinhood died in police action. Hence under the circumstances, the State should suspend the involve personnel to pacify the angst of the people,` he asserted.

At the same time it is also unfortunate that two volunteers of the present agitation are still in police custody, he said before appealing to the government to release them at the earliest and create a cordial atmosphere for dialogue instead of merely sending out invitation for talks.

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