TODAY -

Infiltration on amid haggling over ILP base year
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: June 30, 2022 -



Arrest of the 80 Myanmarese nationals on Tuesday from in and around Ngathal village in Churachandpur district makes it crystal clear that apprehension among individual citizens and civil societies over cross-border infiltration is not an illusion but yet another headache for the government of Manipur.

Among others, back in April this year, Governor La Ganesan cautioned in a public event at Kamjong district headquarters that infiltrators were deliberately trying to sneak into India from Myanmar side and emphasised on effective checking mechanism and repatriating the infiltrators. The Churachandpur incident has proven that the Governor was not presumptuous.

Some years back, law and order instability used to be the main excuse for the then government to dilute posers raised over the sluggish pace of development.

However, in-spite of the state facing no serious socio-political issues at the juncture, it seems that the incumbent government is in the grip of one challenge after another.

While drug abuse and trafficking remains the toughest task for the establishment to tackle, discord among the various communities of the state over ethnicity and geo-political differences and the latest case of such a large number of infiltrators found settling in a single locality imply that the government authorities will have to maintain high vigil.

No doubt, possible tip-off by some concerned citizens might have led to the rounding up of the Myanmarese.

But, it is questionable how such a large group of foreign nationals could make their way to the Churachandpur district township all the way from the Indo-Myanmar border.

Taking into account of check posts of both police and central forces set up along the border villages, there is strong suspicion that either the security forces weren't deliberately dutiful or there are more than a handful of individuals who are simply executing the diabolic scheme of some elements and organisations to change the demography of Manipur.

Possibility of some individuals colluding with such adverse elements cannot be ruled out if one takes note of the fact that the infiltrators from across Myanmarwere found staying in rented quarters owned by one Biakchunga (58), who himself is not a Churachandpur native but migrated from Mizoram after crossing over into the neighbouring state from Myanmar in 1986.

It is equally disturbing to learn that some male members of the same group of illegal immigrants from Myanmar went about plying their wares around New Bazar area of the township before being pulled up on Tuesday.

As Churachandpur district headquarters has various organisations and vigilante groups, all of which are fiercely protective of tribal lands and rights, it is perplexing how presence of such a large group of infiltrators went undetected.

It's an irony that at a time when there are voices of concern from various sections of the society over relentless entry of both migrant workers and suspected presence of illegal immigrants these infiltrators were being provided shelter and had no stricture from wandering around the township, obviously in search of a new life and livelihood, with the ultimate goal to get permanently settled like the quarter owner.

Detection and arrest of these infiltrators, should therefore prod the conscience of those organisations which are adamant that the base year for the ILP system should be 1951 or earlier rather than acknowledging the procedural and logistics difficulties for which the government has finalised year 1961 as the cutoff year to determine who should be indigenes of Manipur.

With neighbouring Myanmar deeply mired in geo-political problems, it is obvious that Myanmarese nationals having cognate tribes in Manipur would relish crossing over and settling in the state taking undue advantage on the squabbling over the ILP base year.

While it is only humane to treat the infiltrators as refugees and asylum seekers any further delay in working out a consensus on the base year will only abet the geo-political situation and encourage elements inimical to interest and integrity of Manipur.



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