TODAY -

Charge of illegal migrants
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: 07th October, 2008 -



It is yet to surface and so while the people of Manipur are presently worried and bickering over such things as interest of the Kuki people, interest of the Naga people, interest of the Meitei people, interest of the Meitei Pangals, in fact interests along ethnic divide, a quiet but extremely dangerous situation has been there for years, lying dormant for the moment but which will eventually explode one fine day.

Assam is yet to exorcise the ghost of illegal migrants from Bangladesh and the story of how the All Assam Students' Union spearheaded a movement against illegal migrants from Bangladesh in the late 70s and early 80s should serve as the eye opener to us as well.

It was this movement which sowed the seeds of the Asom Gana Parishad and it was on this slogan that the AGP headed by Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and his one time ally the late Bhrigu Phukan came to power in Assam, giving a new meaning to student power and the issues they take up.

The vexed issue of illegal migrants from Bangladesh continues to haunt the polity and socio-economic aspects of Assam till today and if corrective measures are not taken up fast, there is no reason to believe why Manipur will not go the way of Assam.

Already there are reports of a large number of illegal Bangladeshi migrants settled at Jiribam, of course with political patronage, for it is about creating a vote bank.

This is a dangerous game and already there are quite a number of people, who assume the nomenclature of Meitei Pangal, but whose appearances are very different and these class of people do not know how to converse in Meiteilon.

The danger is not only about the incursion of a large scale of illegal migrants and the challenge to the demographic composition but should also be seen through the growing menace of terrorism and Bangladesh is known to be a country which has been exporting terror to India.

Some politicians are crooks of the highest order or the lowest scum on earth and the political patronage that these illegal migrants enjoy has to be seen and understood through the prism of vote bank politics.

Since we cannot trust some of the political leaders to sincerely address this issue, the civil society organisations, student bodies and other social organisations, whether they are based in the valley or the hills should be on the vigil.

The Government must be constantly reminded of the imminent danger that lies ahead. The people have to remove the blinkers from their eyes and realise that bickerings over such issues as interest of an ethnic group against another, will only provide more opportunities to the illegal migrants to come here, settle and then mix with the local population.

Not all of them can be said to be potential terrorists, but then there is no guarantee that among them there cannot be somebody who has sneaked into the State to carry out terror attacks.

In this age when terrorism is the biggest threat to the international community, nothing should be left to chance, especially when it comes to illegal migrants from Bangladesh, a country from where terror attacks have been planned and executed with tragic proportions in other parts of the country.

This is the imminent threat that is facing Manipur right now. Remember the terror attack at Agartala some days back and the slaying of some members of a terror outfit in Assam by the Army very recently.





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