Govt working to control influx : CM
Source: The Sangai Express

Jiribam, October 06: Anticipating serious problems and issues in the future due to influx of foreigners/outsiders to Manipur, the State Government is working on concrete pre-emptive measures under the Foreigners Act 1946, claimed Chief Minister O Ibobi who is also in charge of the Home portfolio in the State Assembly today.

On the other hand, MPP MLAs demanded tha the Inner Line Permit system should be enforced and to constitute a House committee to find out the necessary data in order to check influx of foreigners/outsiders.

Regarding the issue raised by civil society organisations to enact a legislation to check influx of outsiders into the small State of Manipur having a comparatively small population, MPP MLAs Dr I Ibohalbi and RK Anand drew the attention of the Chief Minister by raising a call attention motion.

Responding to the motion, the Chief Minister stated that the Government was concerned with the increasing number of outsiders in the State and as such the Government was working to check influx of foreigners effectively.

Observing that several problems may crop up in Manipur, which occupies a tiny geographical area, when its population rises due to influx of outsiders, Ibobi informed the House that between 2003 and March, 2008 altogether 69 foreigners sneaking into the State illegally were detected.

In the North East region, the Inner Line Permit system is being enforced in the States of Nagaland, Aruna-chal Pradesh and Mizoram.

In the case of Manipur, illegal migrants from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal have been settling in various places of the district, particularly in hill districts.

Under the circumstances, the Government does not take the issue of immigrants lightly, the Chief Minister assured.

Since the time when Manipur gained statehood in 1972, the District Council Act has been in force in hill districts which restricts sale of land to non-tribals as well as permanent settlement.

There might be a number of people from other States of India in the valley districts too.

But being citizens of India, their entry cannot be restricted, Ibobi asserted.

Raising the call attention motion, Dr I Ibohalbi said that it appears the number of foreigners/outsiders has exceeded the number of indigenous people.

There was a sudden rise in the population of outsiders when the then DC Himat abolished the Foreigner Permit system in 1950 .

Sounding an alarm that the Manipur Nation may eventually face extinction due to the unrestrained influx of outsiders/foreigners, the MLA called for enacting an effective legislation in this regard.

Observing that it was not difficult to absorb numerically smaller races by larger ones, the MPP MLAs urged the Government to enforce the Inner Line Permit system and to constitute a House committee in order to find out the necessary data.

MLA RK Anand asserted that with the number of immigrants both from foreign countries and other States of India, exceeding the indigenous tribal population of Manipur, there have been severe effects both politically and culturally.

He stressed on the need to check the growth of outside population in Manipur.

Following infiltration in border areas of the State, the outsiders/foreigners have not only been subverting the local people settled there but also robbing their resources and advantages earlier enjoyed by the numerically small indigenous tribes, added the MLA.