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People who settled in Manipur after 1951 might need passes to stay in the state

Imphal/Guwahati, July 26: Situation is tense after the bill for the Inner Line Permit or the Manipur People’s Protection Bill 2018 to regulate the entry and exit of outsiders to the state was passed by the BJP led government in the state assembly. The bill states that Manipuris include Meitis, the Pangal Muslims, scheduled tribes as listed under the Constitution in terms of Manipur and only those citizens from other states who settled there before 1951.

Residents of the state who settled there after 1951 are agitating against the bill for they will now fall under the category of non-Manipuris and will have to register themselves within a month of the notification of the law. These non-Manipuris will be issued a pass extendable up to six months.

However, those non-Manipuris who have trade licences can get a pass extendable up to five years, which will have to be renewed every year.

Also, any outsider visiting Manipur would need a pass.

Reports say former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh has, however said that while the bill has been passed by the “majority”, it will be difficult to implement as it is a “sensitive” issue. He also pondered over the fate of the Manipuri people living in Assam if the state implements a similar regime in the future.

Reports say the new bill with 1951 as the base year has been accepted by the tribal groups.


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