Hill people must welcome Bill : Doungel

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IMPHAL, Aug 6 : “Any Bill which can effectively protect indigenous people of both the hills and valley should be welcomed by the hill people too. Personally, I would welcome all such Bills”, said former Minister C Doungel who is also a prospective BJP candidate for the next Manipur State Legislative Assembly election.
He was speaking at a political camp of BJP workers held today at Saikul community hall under the aegis of BJP Saikul Mandal.
As defined in the Protection of Manipur Peoples’ Bill (PMP) Bill 2015, people of Manipur are those people who have their names in the Citizenship Register of 1951. But there was no Citizenship Register at that time. The Indian Citizenship Act was passed in 1955, Doungel said.
It would be impossible to identify outsiders by taking 1951 as the base year. After 1949, some Meiteis came from Bangladesh and settled at Serou and Saiton. Their status should also be taken into consideration while studying the ILPS issue.
Commenting on the new proposal to adopt 1972 as the  base year, Doungel remarked that there would be no harm in adopting 1972 as the base if there is a consensus.
The Manipur Land Reforms and Land Revenue (7th Amendment) Bill, 2015 could have avoided all controversies if a short clause “this Bill applies only to the areas covered by the principal Act” was inserted. Moreover, the definition of Manipuri peoples as given in the Bills should not have left any room for ambiguity or misinterpretation, Doungel asserted.
Both the proponents and opponents of ILPS should come to an acceptable/reasonable path. While safeguarding the interests of both the parties, hill people and plain people who constitute the indigenous population of the State should promote peaceful co-existence.
The new Bill should be studied from all perspectives  and experts and scholars should be consulted in order to resolve the issue amicably.
Claiming that BJP has been growing by leaps and bounds in the State, Doungel asserted that there would be a BJP Government in Manipur after the State Assembly election.
Former BJP Manipur Pradesh president and member of the National Council for Social Justice and Empowerment M Bhorot said that Manipur can march ahead on the path of development only when BJP is strengthened in the State.
BJP Manipur Pradesh executive member Salam Ibohal and I Mangiton also spoke at the camp.

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