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JIPF protests provocative reports, condemns harassment

SILCHAR, Sept 6: Though everything has fallen silent in the volatile Manipur caught in the flame of agitation by Joint Committee on ILP System (JCILPS), still reports are published from time to time in local news papers, highlighting the harassment of non Manipuris, particularly Bengali speaking community. There have been photographs of the harassed people in a local daily. Taking exception to such emotional, provocative and unedited news items being published for the last few weeks, the Joint Indigenous Peoples’ Front (JIPF) based at Lakhipur has in a representation to the sub divisional officer (Civil) of the subdivision has urged upon him to monitor such reports in the interest of age old communal harmony.
N Nandamohan Singha, convener, JIPF, said that during the ongoing agitation for introduction of Inner Line Permit (ILP), there might have been some unfortunate incidents which are condemnable. He clarified that the agitation for introduction of ILP is against the government and not against any community or group of people. The Front while supporting the ILP in Manipur expresses its strong objection to the harassment of any individual or group belonging to non Manipuris.
W Saratchandra, chairman of the Front, pointed out that it is the desire and demand of the indigenous people of the state for revival and reintroduction of the system that was earlier in force till it was withdrawn in November, 1950. However, every right thinking citizen should condemn the undesirable act of harassment in the name of a movement. The non Manipuris, bonafide Indian citizens, have every right to live in any part of the state of Manipur. It is in the fitness of things, pointed out W Saratchandra that in order to protect the culture, tradition and identity of the Manipuris, reintroduction of ILP system has become essential.
The sub divisional officer (Civil) has been particularly impressed upon to ensure that for maintenance of peace and communal harmony in this part of Cachar district, law and order machinery has to be geared up and put on alert. It is a fact and not myth that indigenous people of the state of Manipur have been gradually and systematically swamped by the people of other states. Though there is no Census report to establish the number of illegal immigrants, it has to be admitted if the trend continues the day is not far off when Manipuris will find themselves in minority.
It is to be recalled that ILP system in north eastern parts was introduced by the British Government mainly to protect the indigenous people of the areas and preserve their tradition and culture. Presently, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh are covered by ILP. There is every justification, as the Front leaders said, for the state of Manipur to have ILP system.
It is after a long drawn agitation that ILP was finally passed by the state Assembly along with 2 other Bills. There was widespread violent protest against the Bills in the hill district of Churachandpur. Among all the north eastern states, Assam is the worst affected by the ever continuous influx of Bangladeshis where the very identity and culture of Assamese and other indigenous people are at stake. Demographers and analysts agree that the present demographic topsy-turvy in Assam is due to vote-bank politics. It has been observed that even after the introduction of ILP, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh continue to reel under influx. (Source:SentinelAssam)

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