MLA fears Myanmarese in state assembly
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, March 02 2024: Lilong MLA Abdul Nasir has expressed concern that there might come a time when people of Myanmar origin get elected and join the Manipur Legislative Assembly unless the state takes up necessary measures to check the unnatural growth of population under a strict policy.

MLA Abdul Nasir made the observation during the discussion of a private member resolution for NRC exercise in the state moved by Phungyar MLA K Leishiyo Keishing during the 5th session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly on Friday.

The private member resolution was subsequently passed unanimously by the House.

Participating in the discussion, the Lilong MLA stressed the need for passing the resolution unanimously and bring the same to the notice of the Centre by a team of MLAs to mount pressure for early implementation of NRC in the state instead of simply sending the resolution by other means.

If the present crisis had been among the indigenous communities, then it would have been of much lesser scale and duration, he observed.

Nasir also opined that the main cause for the unnatural population growth in some parts of the state is the Free Movement Regime (FMR) and expressed fear that these illegal immigrants would eventually find their names in the electoral roll and get their Aadhaar cards.

One day, some of them might even contest election and get elected as a member of the State legislative assembly.

This is not the time to remain contented with some infrastructure development and enjoying a sumptuous dish on pay day but time to make effort and put forth policy to protect the state, he remarked.

There was an unfounded apprehension in the society that Meitei Pangal may face the heat of NRC.

On the contrary, a Meitei Pangal professor, when asked about the possibilities of Muslim influx from Bangladesh, said that Bangladesh is much more peaceful than Manipur with pleasant weather and vast land resources.

On the other hand, people in Lilong can become dangerously cruel over petty issues like land dispute regarding construction of a bund.

In such a situation, no Muslim from Bangladesh would want to come here and get killed, MLA Abdul Nasir told the House.

He also quoted a religious text written by Prophet Muhammad some 1500 years ago that asked to provide guests food for three days, and added that staying longer in a house by a guest would result in the Meetei proverb of 'Yumdangbana Keinaba'.

Mentioning names of his forefathers and recalling his long line of family tree in the state, the MLA said that there are many people in the state, who do not know even the names of their grandfather and such people are the primary forces behind the crisis.

If the NRC had been implemented well in time, then the present crisis could have been averted, he contended.

He further said that Lilong is the only assembly constituency in the state where Meitei Pangal is in majority.

Some people may think that there are only 40 unreserved seats in the state but as per his knowledge, Kangpokpi is also an unreserved seat.

However, no candidate from the general category could win election in the constituency.

Prior to 1980s, Meetei, Tamil and Meitei Pangal were the main inhabitants of Moreh but current number of Meetei population in the border town is a matter of grave concern.

Instead of just focusing on the population of Meitei Pangal and Tamil, it is crucial to assess the number of illegal immigrants who have settled in the border town and its surrounding areas, he said, while adding that NRC is the only solution to this.

The MLA also recalled a statement he made while he was a cabinet minister, that Manipur will face a perilous situation when the whole state is focussing on Meitei Pangal population.

He proposed the House to pull out population data of Lilong AC from the time of Lilong Territorial Council election and also urged the authority to pull out similar data for all the constituencies and compare them with the current data, and it will bring out the disturbing trend of unnatural population growth.

Despite Meitei Pangal being considered as a community with high population growth rate, number of electors in the constituency is still below 27,000 .

In stark contrast, there are some assembly constituencies, which have more than 50,000 voters thereby meriting that the House find out if these people are from China or Myanmar, he stressed.

Nasir also called for reviewing the population growth rate of the state for the last at least eight decades and take up necessary measures to address crucial issues.

There must be several illegal immigrants with lake voter IDs and Aadhaar cards, and they must be detected and deported promptly, he suggested.

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