The stand of the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) that non-locals cannot and should not contest in the coming Assembly election is a clear indication that the demand to check the inflow of non-local people into the State still stands. With the State Government announcing the creation of seven new districts, the ongoing economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council and the coming Assembly election, the demand to check the inflow of non-local people into the State had receded to the background. However the stand of the JCILPS is a reminder to all that the demand still stands and they are just waiting for the right time to launch another series of movement to demand that a Bill or Bills be passed to keep a check on the large scale incursion of non-local people into the State. Rewind to 2014 and 2015 and one will remember the days of protest on the streets of Imphal, the days when young students came out from their classrooms to brave the water cannons and the broken shards of glasses on the roads at night time. If this was how the valley area raised the issue, one just have to remember how the hill districts, particularly Churachandpur reacted when the State Assembly ultimately passed the three Bills on August 31 in 2015. The mortal remains of eight of the nine people killed in the spontaneous uproar at Churachandpur are still in state and this is a grim reminder of the deep divide between the hills and the valley.
It is this divide again which can be seen in the ongoing economic blockade and while Kangpokpi hailed the decision of the State Government to announce the creation of Kangpokpi district, the Naga dominated districts reacted by making the blockade more strict and stringent. The three Bills of 2015, the districts creation and the ongoing economic blockade are the true reflection of how issues are viewed so differently in the hills and the valley and as noted earlier, this as an issue has not figured anywhere in the election campaign that one sees around. All political parties, particularly the BJP and the Congress, talk about how committed they are to protecting the territorial integrity of the State, but no one has deemed it necessary to reflect on the deep divide between the hills and the valley as well as the deep divide between the two major tribes in Manipur, the Kukis and the Nagas. So while the BJP and the Congress have gone hammer and tongs against each other around the Framework Agreement, the ongoing economic blockade etc, nothing much has been said on the deepening divide between the hills and the valley and this is a clear indication that the priorities of all the political parties are wrong.
Source: The Sangai Express