TODAY -

House reaffirms stand on NRC exercise in state
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, March 01 2024: The earlier resolution of the Manipur Legislative Assembly to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state has been reaffirmed by members of the House on Friday and resolved to press the central government to implement the same.

A private member resolution in this regard was raised by Phungyar MLA Leishiyo Keishing on Friday with endorsement by the Assembly, conversion into a government resolution and subsequently passed unanimously by the members present.

During discussion on the resolution, chief minister N Biren, who is also the leader of the House, said that the population of illegal immigrants in Manipur has recorded drastic increase creating an alarming situation.

Such unprecedented increase in population of illegal immigrants has created a situation of the indigenous population staring at an uncertain future.

He further informed the House that the population of Meeteis had shrunk to 44.90 percent in 2011 from 59.16 percent in 1981 .

However, the population of the Scheduled Tribe communities increased from 38 percent to 40.88 percent, and Meitei Pangals from 2.21 percent to 8.40 percent while other communities including Nepali, Bengali and Assamese increased from 0.05 percent to 0.582 percent.

Moreover, the number of new villages in Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, Tengnoupal and Chandel districts also increased significantly with 560, 542, 296 and 258 new villages respectively detected in these districts from 2005 onwards.

It is worth questioning whether it is possible for the indigenes to live with the illegal immigrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh under such an alarming situation and what will be the condition of the indigenous people in the near future, stated the chief minister.

Acknowledging endeavours of almost all the MLAs to uphold the territorial integrity of Manipur and the indigenous communities, he claimed that the unrest situation gripping the state is fallout of misdeeds by the previous governments.

None of the politicians in the past were concerned and discussed sensitive issues afflicting the state but prioritised remaining in power, he contended.

Informing the House over sharp increase in the number of voters in 2012 as well as in 2022, the chief minister said Tengnoupal's 2012 figure of 30,423 voters witnessed increase to 41,952 in 2022.In Saikul, the number of voters increased from 20,989 to 26573; 17,025 to 25,235 in Kangpokpi; 28,037 to 39,649 in Saitu; 17,439 to 27,396 in Henglep; 30,147 to 47,935 in Churachandpur; 30,038 to 52,809 in Saikot; and from 15,401 to 23598 in Singhat ACs.

He further informed that the state assembly on August 5, 2022 took the resolution to urge the central government for implementation of NRC in Manipur along with constituting a population commission.

A population commission has already been instituted in the state along with appointing a director.

As for the NRC, the state government apprised the Home Secretary following which the state received a letter from the union ministry on February 6, 2023 stating that the central government has discussed the proposal but is not prepared for implementation of NRC in the state at the national level.

Nevertheless, considering the sentiment of the indigenous communities of Manipur, the central government has given the approval to initiate fencing along the Indo-Myanmar border and to suspend the free movement regime (FMR), in addition to implementing the ILPS.

The Myanmarese refugees are being allowed to stay in Manipur on humanitarian ground under the instruction of the central government but will be deported once the crisis in Myanmar subsides, he said.

Stating that the infiltration of illegal immigrants from across the border and settling in the state by forming new villages is both alarming and unfortunate, chief minister N Biren said that such unwanted development not only creates problems adversely affecting the indigenous people, but is also having serious impact on the environment as they (illegal immigrants from Myanmar) are ruthlessly felling trees contributing to deforestation and indulging in large scale poppy plantations.

From 2007 to 2017, 475 square km of forest area in the state had been lost consequently disturbing the fragile ecological balance as could be comprehended from erratic rainfall trend, he elaborated.

The CM also pointed out that due to poppy plantation, soil erosion occurs during rainy seasons.

He also informed that 357 villages were detected inside 34 reserved forest areas while total of 16,730 acres of land was found cultivated with poppy plants from 2017 to 2024.However, recent satellite imagery survey has shown that the poppy cultivation area has been reduced by 60.20 percent made possible due to the support of the public, civil society organisations, village chiefs and church leaders, he said while conveying gratitude to all who are lending support in eradicating poppy plantations in the state.

Further informing that total of 10 km border fencing has been completed along the Indo-Myanmar border which include of 1 km in Moreh sector fitted with sophisticated camera, he confided that survey for fencing of another 20 km stretch has been completed, adding that the fencing project will be carried out with deployment of adequate security forces.

He also allayed apprehension over some portions of the border fencing set to partition specific villages with the explanation that the fence will double up security gates which could be accessed with due compliance to standard norms.

He also disclosed to the members to consider leaving politics on completion of border fencing, effective suspension of free movement regime (FMR), replacement of paramilitary force personnel guarding the borders with other central forces and implementation of the NRC in the state.

Till these projects and policies are upheld or fulfilled, he will cling on to his post, Biren affirmed and urged people to unite and have firm resolve to save Manipur.


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