Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh meets Rajnath Singh to press for ILP bills
The burning issue has been around and to break the stalemate, an all-party delegation from Manipur, by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and apprised him about the need for presidential assent to convert three Inner Line Permit System-related bills into acts.
The three bills were passed last year in August after months of mass movement to protect the indigenous populace from the illegal immigrants in the state, including those from neighbouring Myanmar.
The delegation conveyed to the Home Minister the necessity of getting presidential assent to the three bills, which were opposed by tribal groups of the state.
The Chief Minister was joined by representatives of BJP, LJD, JD(U), CPI(M), among others.
The bills have been strongly opposed by tribals, particularly Nagas and Kukis, who mainly inhabit the hill districts of Manipur.
The Manipur Tribals Forum (MTF) has for many months been protesting in New Delhi against the three bills and the death of nine young protesters last September in Churachandpur district of the state.
Last month, four legislators of the Naga People's Front (NPF) also met the Home Minister in Delhi asking him not to take any action for ensuring presidential nod to the three bills.
The Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS), which spearheads the movement for legislation to protect the indigenous population from migrants, announced its own shutdown against the delay in enactment of the three bills.
The JCILPS demands an inner line permit (ILP) system for Manipur which has been encapsulated in the three anti-migrant bills passed by the Manipur assembly that now await the president's nod.
The ILP is a special permit required to enter certain restricted areas in the country. The system is already in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.
It was first introduced by the British, restricting entry into these areas to protect their commercial interests.
Acceding to the demand of JCILPS, the Congress government in Manipur had last year passed three bills to protect the indigenous people inhabiting the valley districts of the state.
They were: The Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015, The Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015 and The Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015.
Featured image: indianexpress.com