The Manipur government has constituted a state-level committee to draft a bill for the “Protection of Manipuri People”, which will comprise legislators from both ruling and opposition bench. Speaking to reporters, government spokesperson Thongam Biswajit Singh on Thursday said the committee, which was formed on May 23, will meet soon and is putting all efforts to introduce the draft bill during the upcoming monsoon session in July.
The proposed Bill is an alternative to the demand of the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) for the implementation of Inner Line Permit System (ILP) in Manipur to protect the indigenous population.
The ILP is the permit system under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 wherein citizen from other parts of the country are not allowed to enter the boundary of a state without a valid pass issued by a competent authority like the State Deputy Resident Commissioner/Deputy Commissioners/any other officer authorized by the state government.
The main objective of the ILP system is to provide a special protection of the distinct identity and safeguard for the peaceful existence of the indigenous people of the state.
The announcement of Bishwajit, who is the convener of the committee, comes on the eve of the proposed drive of the JCILPS students’ wing to vacate “non-locals” tenants from Manipur who does not possess valid documents to prove their credential. The students’ wing made the announcement on May 8.
Rebutting claims that outsiders are not allowed entry into the state, Bishwajit said there is no such incident where any legal citizen of the country has been denied entry into the state. Any citizen of the country can move or visit any place in the country and barring the entry to a lawful citizen of the country is “unconstitutional”, he said.
Nevertheless, he explained that Manipur too has been affected by the Rohingya issue like other states along the international border.
Acting on reports of the influx of illegal migrants into the state, the government machineries have been closely monitoring entry of illegal migrants, he said.
Considering the inconvenience faced by outsiders during such police verification or identification process, Biswajit also urged all concerned individuals to carry their authentic identification cards with them. The spokesperson also appealed to all civil society organisations and every individual not to take the law into their hands while dealing with outsiders coming into the state.
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