TODAY -

MIYC alerts electors, suspects FMR, NRC vows
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, March 19 2024: While contending that both state and Central governments have done nothing effective to resolve the crisis and restore peace in the state, with the political class, as usual, trying to impress the electors ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Manipur International Youth Centre (MIYC) has urged the state's denizens not to undermine real issues concerning the state and its identity amid the rising poll fever.

In a statement, MIYC asked if the recent resolutions and recommendations of the state assembly regarding abrogation of the Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement, updating National Register of Citizens (NRC), and Central government's decision to scrap Free Movement Regime (JMR) and construct border fencing would resolve the crisis from the core.

It is a well-known fact that the much-hyped NRC did not succeed in Assam even though it was carried out under the directive of the Supreme Court.

Even though the NRC exercise managed to identify 19 lakh illegal immigrants, the government has not been able to deport them to Bangladesh even after five years.

As such an NRC exercise without deporting the detected immigrants would do nothing good in the state too.

MIYC maintained that illegal immigrant Kuki-Zo people from Myanmar were deliberately called in and allowed to settle by the native Kuki people in collusion with politicians, who use them as their vote banks, violating the Foreigners Act.

Deportation of illegal immigrants after an NRC update would require prior deportation agreement between India and Myanmar.

Given the current situation in Myanmar and geopolitics at play in the region, mass deportation of illegal immigrants would not be a reality.

On the other hand, SoO agreement expired on February 29 this year and since then there is no official confirmation if the agreement has been extended or not.

Ever since the SoO agreement was signed, the Kuki militants have been violating all the ground rules.

Their cadre strength increased from 1,122 in 2018 to over 2000 in 2019, and they are waging a war for Zalengam by disintegrating Manipur.

Bringing in illegal immigrants, illegal poppy farming, international drug trade and narco-terrorism are known activities of the Kuki militants under SoO.

During the period from May 3,2023 to March 11,2024, the state registered 88 drug related cases involving Rs 841 crore, with 93 per cent of the people arrested from Kuki-Zo community, the statement pointed out, while lamenting that instead of reining in the rogue Kuki militant groups under SoO, the government released Rs 27.38 crore as stipend amid the crisis.

Border fencing is another issue that would be hard to achieve any time soon.

Given the current pace of border fencing, it would take centuries to complete the project.

FMR is another policy of the Central government keeping in view of the geopolitical play in Myanmar .

Even though the home ministry had recom mended scrapping of FMR, no official notification has been issued till date.

Earlier, there was no restriction' on Myanmar nationals entering the state and the FMR allowed free movement for up to 16 km on either side.

In fact, FMR is a policy of the government of India to facilitate smooth implementation of the Act East Policy, Trans Asian Highway and Kaladan Project, and as such scrapping the FMR entirely is doubtful, MIYC elaborated.

Chieftainship tradition of Kuki-Zo community is one of the main factors contributing to the current situation and it had been long ignored by the state government.

The tradition allows children of any Kuki chief to set up new villages, and by taking advantage of the tradition, they would often bring in Myanmarese Kukis to establish new village of their own.

This tradition had been abolished in Myanmar in 1948, and in Assam and Tripura in 1954.In Manipur too, the state assembly along with the Hill Areas Committee adopted a resolution to abolish the chieftainship tradition in 1967, for which the President of India had given the approval on June 14, 1967 .

Unfortunately, the state government failed to publish the same in the gazette for 57 years and it contributed in mushrooming of new Kuki villages in Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, Pherzawl and Tengnoupal districts.

Today, Churachandpur district has maximum number of voters in the state followed by Kangpokpi, it maintained.

Keeping in view of the issues that lie ahead, it is important for the people of the state to be vigilant and not to fall to the political speeches for election, MIYC cautioned.

It also called upon the people to discuss the issues and explore ways to face the situation in accordance with international law.


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