House reaffirms resolution on updating NRC
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 01 2024: The Manipur Legislative Assembly today unanimously reaffirmed a resolution adopted on August 5, 2022 on updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) with respect to Manipur in the interest of the State and the Nation.

Replying to a private member resolution raised by NPF MLA Leishiyo Keishing on updating the NRC, Chief Minister N Biren stated that only Members of the ruling parties were present in the House.

He also expressed keen desire for the Opposition MLAs to join the discussion on NRC.

Collection of biometric data of immigrants to check illegal immigration into Manipur started during the present Government, the Chief Minister stated.

House reaffirms resolution on updating NRC
House reaffirms resolution on updating NRC

He said that the State Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution on August 5, 2022 in favour of implementing the NRC in Manipur and the same was forwarded to the Centre.

The Central Government sent a reply to the State Assembly's resolution on February 6, 2023 informing that no preparations have been made for implementation of NRC at the National level, Biren said.

He went to claim that the incumbent Government is a people-centric Government.

Informing that sudden growth of new villages and population was detected in some areas of Manipur during the last couple of years, the Chief Minister elucidated that many new villages sprung up suddenly in Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, Chandel and Tengnoupal districts.

Altogether 1657 new villages were detected including 560 in Churachandpur, 552 in Kangpokpi, 296 in Chandel and 258 in Tengnoupal, he said.

In Kangpokpi and Tengnoupal, the growth of new villages reached 300 per cent and there is concrete evidence of this growth.

This is quite alarming, Biren said.

If the illegal immigrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh are allowed to settle in Manipur freely without raising any question, the indigenous population will suffer serious impacts, he said.

"Even at Langol, 1015 houses were found to be on patta land.

We are not here merely to watch all these.

The Government takes the issue of protecting the indigenous people and the State's integrity very seriously", Biren said.

The total number of voters of some Assembly segments of hill districts also saw alarming growth.

The number of voters jumped from 30,423 in 2012 to 41,952 in 2022 in Tengnoupal AC, 20,989 in 2012 to 26,573 in 2022 in Saikul AC, 17,025 to 25,235 in Kangpokpi AC, 28,037 to 39,641 in Saitu AC, 17,409 to 27,396 in Henglep AC, 30,147 to 47,935 in Churachandpur AC and 30,038 to 52,809 in Saikot AC during the 10 year period.

Thus Saikot AC registered the highest growth in the number of voters.

Incidentally, Saikot AC is currently represented by an MLA who is taking a leading role in demanding separate administration for Kukis, the Chief Minister pointed out.

During the same period, the total number of voters in Singhat AC rose from 15,401 to 23,598.This is the ground reality, Biren said.

Taking serious note of this reality, the Government has been working to carry out boundary fencing.

FMR has been already scrapped and the State Government has been asking the Centre to entrust the task of guarding the international border to another force, he told the House.

The State Government of Mizoram issued an order whereby purchase of land by people who came to the State after 1951 is prohibited.

Despite this order, no one says that the Mizoram Government is communal.

"But in Manipur when we say something, we are branded as communal.

The State is now facing a difficult situation because we have been in conflict mode for too long", he continued.

Informing that the State Government has set up a population commission, the Chief Minister remarked that the population composition of Manipur is quite alarming.

Till 2011, Meitei community constituted 59.16 per cent of the State's population distribution but it has declined to 44.90 per cent now.

Population of ST communities rose from 38 per cent to 40.88 per cent.

Population of Meitei Pangals jumped from 2.21 per cent to 8.40 per cent, he said.

China has fenced the entire length of its boundary with Myanmar.

No Myanmar people fleeing their country because of the unrest there are allowed to enter China, he said.

India is not a signatory of the UN's Refugee Convention.

Nonetheless, India has been working to provide certain status and privileges to the immigrants from Myanmar after classifying them as refugees.

The Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister told the State Government to send back the illegal immigrants from Myanmar as far as possible.

As for those who could not be sent back, accommodate them in barracks built for them, collect biometric data including eye scan and generate identity cards for each one of them so that they could be sent back once the situation in Myanmar cools down, the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister told the State Government.

The Chief Minister asserted that there is no question of his Government ever attacking any community/group on communal line.

The State Government set up a Cabinet sub-committee with Minister Letpao Haokip as its chairman to monitor illegal immigration from Myanmar.

On checking just 23 villages of Chandel, Tengnoupal, Kamjong and Churachandpur, 2440 illegal immigrants were detected.

Out of 6958 illegal immigrants from Myanmar, 6654 have been housed in camps after collecting their biometric data, Biren said.

A number of immigrants from Myanmar were found setting up villages in interior areas of Moreh contrary to the instruction to live in barrack-type houses.

Before the exercise of collecting biometric data started, more than 200 illegal immigrants from Myanmar were pulled up from a weaving centre of Churachandpur.

They were brought to a shelter home built for them near Sajiwa Jail, he said.

Most of the illegal immigrants from Myanmar were engaged in poppy cultivation in the Golden Triangle.

After coming to Manipur, they started extensive poppy cultivation by clearing large tracts of forest areas.

As a result, Manipur lost 475 sq Kms of forest areas between 2007 and 2017, Biren said.

There were also encroachments on reserved forests.

Altogether 357 villages were detected inside 34 reserved forests of the State, he told the House.

The total number of houses built after encroaching into forest areas identified by the Forest Department was 5982 and the total area occupied by the encroachers was 2257 hectares.

Out of them, the Government has evicted 413 houses, he said.

He stated that the Government has succeeded in reducing the total area under poppy cultivation by 60.50 per cent during the last two years.

This was possible because of the collective efforts of the Members of the House, Government machinery, citizens, civil societies, village chiefs and Church leaders.

After border fencing has been completed over a length of 10 Kms, construction of border fence using sophisticated technology has been initiated over a distance of one Km near Moreh Bazar.

Survey has been completed for another 20 Kms, he informed the House.

"If the entire length of Manipur-Myanmar border is fenced, FMR is scrapped, the task of guarding the border is entrusted to another security force and NRC is updated, we may retire from politics.

Until then, I cannot give away my post because Manipur and her people must be protected", Biren said.

As suggested by the leader of the House, Speaker Th Satyabrata asked the Members of the House if they were agreeable to adopting a Government resolution on the private member resolution raised by Leishiyo Keishing.

As the Members gave their consent, the Speaker announced that the Manipur Legislative Assembly has reaffirmed the resolution adopted by the same House on August 5, 2022 and the House has resolved to exert pressure on the Centre to update NRC with respect to Manipur in line with the Government resolution adopted on March 1, 2024 .

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