NEW DELHI, July 16 (Vision Communications): The Union Ministry of Home Affairs is reported to have opposed the Manipur government’s demand for the introduction of the provision of Inner Line Permit system in Manipur under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873.
The Centre, instead, asked the Ibobi government to defuse the crisis and keep strict vigil on the non Manipuri people who are engaged in different low paid trades like Barber, Mason besides the job of daily wage labourer. It is important to note here that several non Manipuri residents, mainly from Bihar, were killed by some underground rebels last year demanding ouster of all non Manipuri people from the state.
The state government had to open relief camp for the displaced non Manipuri residents besides strengthening the security for their family members. In fact, the state government gave full protection and even different social organizations openly condemned the killing of non Manipuri traders and daily labourers by the extremists.
However, this time the situation is different. Various social organizations including students and women groups are up in arms against the non Manipuri people settled in Manipur and engaged in different trades. A 72 years old social activist K B Sharma went of observing fast while the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit led by Sapamcha Jadumani launched relentless campaign forcing the state Assembly on Friday (13th July) to pass a Private Member Bill on the introduction of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873 provisions in Manipur.
This Inner Line Permit system under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873 was already introduced long ago in Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh of the North East. The aim was to ensure that the ethnic tribes of these three states could maintain their distinct identity and at the same time could promote their culture and tradition. Even an Indian citizen who belongs to other state has to apply for Inner Line Permit for visiting those states.
Manipur is a multi ethnic state and the introduction of Inner Line Permit was never considered. In fact, some of the state governments in the region are of the view that this ILP system is hampering the prospects of tourism in the region. Meghalaya government opposed the introduction of ILP but at the same time introduced steps to tighten the work permit and trade licence for the ‘Outsiders.”
Manipur cabinet also recommended the introduction of the ILP system in the state to check the entry of “Bangladeshi and Myanmarese nationals.” The Chief Minister Mr O Ibobi Singh is reported to have clarified that his government would take a series of steps to effectively check the entry of “Bangladeshi and Myanmarese citizens” in Manipur. But his government would not be able to “oust” the genuine Indian citizens.