Thursday, June 1, 2023

Massive rally to demand NRC in Manipur


The demand for implementation of National Registered Citizens (NRC) in Manipur is gaining momentum as hundreds of women joined the students in a demonstration held in Imphal on Tuesday.
Various civil society organizations, particularly student bodies, have been demanding implementation of NRC in the state in the backdrop of an unchecked surge in the population of the illegal immigrants in the state.
Furthering the demand, six student bodies – AMSU, MSF, DESAM, KSA, SUK and AIM – held a demonstration in Imphal’s Khwairamband Keithel, the business hub in the heart of the capital city.
Joined by hundreds of women vendors from the three Ima Keithels (all-women-run markets), members of the six student bodies carried out a rally from Khwairamband Keithel towards the chief minister’s secretariat.
A strong team of police, however, prevented the rally from proceeding further at the traffic point at the western gate of Kangla fort.
After the police foiled the rally from further proceeding without much resistance, the rallyists returned to the originating point and demonstrated there raising various slogans demanding immediate implementation of the NRC and setting of a state population commission. They also called for an effective mechanism to check the ever increasing illegal immigrants that threatened the indigenous population of the state.
Talking to reporters on the sideline of the demonstration, a leader of the women vendors said that Inner Line Permit (ILP) was not enough to tackle the influx of immigrants.
She insisted that all the 60 MLAs must raise their voices to press for implementation of the NRC in the state. “NRC is a must to protect the indigenous population of the state,” she said.
Coordinator of the six student bodies, Salam Open asserted that the state government should not delay implementation of NRC considering the future of the state.
He said the state government should also set up the population commission to check the ever increasing illegal migrants and protect the indigenous people in the state, adding that without an effective mechanism to check illegal immigrants, the future of Manipur is at stake.
He demanded that the state government take up steps to identify immigrants and lamented that the abnormal surge of population in some hill districts and emergence of new villages in the reserved and protected forests is a threat to the indigenous people of the state.
Salam observed that new villages were set up in the remote hill villages, particularly in the districts bordering Myanmar by the immigrants who entered the state illegally.
He blamed the illegal immigrants behind mass deforestation in the hill districts for poppy cultivation which posed great impact to the environment.
“Such activities of the illegal immigrants are a threat to the indigenous people of the state,” he added.
The coordinator announced that the students’ bodies along with like-minded CSOs will continue the protest until NRC is implemented in the state.


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