TODAY -

State's NRC depends on Govt's political will
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 08 2018: Compilation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) for the State of Manipur as done in Assam to identify foreigners depends on the State Government's political will, say experts who have been studying the State's demographic profile.

As a result of persistent efforts of the Government of Assam and the All Assam Students' Union (AASU), a partial draft copy of the State's NRC was published on December 31 .

Notably, AASU was spearheading several protest movements for a long time demanding identification of foreigners.

As part of their protest movement, even collection of Census data was prohibited since 1981.The growing fear of Assamese people caused by incessant influx of foreigners and non-local people is a reality in Manipur too.

The situation demands compilation of NRC for the State in order to identify foreigners, the experts said.

The State Government need to send a detailed report to the Government of India and take up concrete actions.

Notably, it is been more than a year since the Ministry of Home Affairs appointed a Director for NRC Manipur.

The Director of the Directorate of Census Operations is also the NRC Director.

Capitalising on the office of the NRC Director, the State Government may initiate due processes to identity foreigners and non-local people in order to allay people's fear of becoming minority in their own homeland, said the sources/experts.

There would be little technical difficulty in compiling NRC of any State as the same process should be done using Aadhaar enrolment data.

The Census Directorate or the State Government may entrust the task of compiling NRC to a separate agency, they said.

All the people enlisted in the NRC would be issued cards identifying them as citizens of Manipur.

If a comprehensive NRC can be compiled, citizens of Manipur and outsiders can be identified very easily.

Even if determining the base year for NRC compilation may require a consensus, it is crucial to compile an NRC for the State too, the experts said.

All those people who are not included in the NRC of Assam would be counted as foreigners or outsiders.

But compilation of NRC does not necessarily mean that all the outsiders would be repatriated.

The State Government can enact a separate or devise a special mechanism which can monitor and regulate nonlocal population in the State.

The first census for India was carried out in 1872 and for Manipur in 1881.The total population of Manipur as per the first census was 2,21,070 with Meitei comprising 1,30,796.Tribes constituted 85, 288 (Nagas 59,904 and Kukis 25,384), Muslims 4881 while others constituted 105.At that time Meiteis constituted 59.2 per cent of the total population while tribes constituted 38.6 per cent and Muslims 2.2 per cent.

The total population of the State reached 5,77,635 by the 1951 census with Meiteis constituting 3,38,909 (58.7 pc), tribes 1,94,239 (33.6), Muslims 37,197 (6.4 pc) and others constituted 7290 (1.3 pc).

According to the 2011 census, the State's total population is around 28.56 lakhs and there is strong suspicion that total population of non-local people has multiplied manifold.

There was huge influx of non-local people including Nepalese into the State between 1971 and 1981.Given this fact, either 1971 or 1981 may be adopted as base year for identification of non-local people, the experts said and added that the census data of 1951 and electoral rolls of the Manipur Legislative Assembly elections held in 1948 and 1949 may be taken into account.

Notably, a permit system was in force in Manipur before October 15, 1949 or before Manipur was merged into the India to regulate entry of non-local people into the State.

The permit system was abolished by a notification issued by the then Chief Commissioner on November 18, 1950 and this opened a floodgate of influx.

Incidentally, a large section of people have been demanding re-introduction of the permit system or a similar mechanism and the Government has been working to draft a Bill towards this effect.


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