IMPHAL, April 23: After the President’s Office rejected the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System’s proposal to meet the President Pranab Mukherjee during his Khongjom Day visit today, the JCILPS had to submit its memorandum addressed to the President through the State chief secretary seeking immediate assent to the three Bills passed by voice vote in a special session of the Manipur State Legislative Assembly on August 31, 2015.
The memorandum includes 24 points with 11 annexure elaborating on the need to implement the Inner Line Permit System in the State and why the President has to give his assent to the three Bills- The protection of Manipur peoples bill 2015, The Manipur land revenue and land reforms (seventh amendment) bill 2015, and The Manipur shops and establishments (second amendment) bill 2015.
Speaking to media persons at the JCILPS office after submitting the memorandum to the chief secretary, JCILPS convenor Kh Ratan said that the committee had on April 18 submitted an appointment letter to State government requesting a meeting with the President during his visit in the State.
However, it is learnt that the State government delayed sending the letter to the President’s office and send it only on April 21 which is just two days prior to the President’s Khongjom Day visit, he said.
Due to the delay, the President’s office rejected the proposal citing that preparation of the itinerary of the President’s visit has already been completed and that there was no room for any changes, he said.
He further expressed unhappiness against the State government’s delay in sending the letter.
Ratan said the memorandum has drawn the attention of the President to the fact that it has been more than seven months since the passing of the three bills, but so far an air of ambient silence has covered up the whole issue.
The memorandum continued that the Manipur society is yet to receive an affirmative assent from the President or his office on the three bills, which is dear to the people of this State, he said.
Ratan further continued that the three bills were passed by the Manipur Legislative Assembly as a result of relentless peoples’ movement to the reality arising out of the necessity to protect the indigenous peoples of the State.
He said that it was culmination of a three year long peoples’ movement including a two month long intense agitation spearheaded by the JCILPS.
He further observed that the migrant population in Manipur has shot up to 400 percent from 1948 till 2011, although the State’s overall population has increased by only 4.6 percent in the past 60 years.
Manipur’s population was 5 lakhs in 1950 and according to the 2011 census it is 28 lakhs now, he said.
“The migrant population is 10,38,615 which is in excess of the tribal population in the State. Thus, the peoples’ movement for the protection of the indigenous people is on account of the tremendous increases in the population of non-Manipuris.”
Ratan said “We simply do not want to become refugees in our own land and it is our right to raise our voice”.
JCILPS claimed that the passing of three Bills on August 31, 2015 is a landmark event in the history of Manipur and for the first time the Government is on the right path to resolve the issue of non-natives in a meaningful manner.
In the third phase of peoples’ movement spearheaded by the JCILPS, a student Sapam Robinhood was killed in police action and over 400 protestors were injured, some with grievous injuries and even blindness needing intense medical care, said Ratan.
On opposing the three bills from certain sections of the hill communities and terming it “anti-tribal” is unfortunate. Ratan alleged that fishing in the troubled waters by the NSCN-IM, which has territorial aspirations and presently undergoing peace talk with the Government of India, through political machinations and instigations has only complicated the situation and the innocent denizens from southern hill areas of Manipur are the unwitting victims who area at a loss as how to bring situation to peaceful end.
The JCILPS is willing to assure that needful changes can be made to the three Bills in the interest of Manipur during the framing of rules of the implementations of the Acts.
The JCILP further demanded to set-up “Manipur unorganised worker (control of infiltration) bill 2007”.
The committee will continue their agitations till their demands are made and threatened to further lunch strong form agitations after organise joint leadership meeting, he added.