Police have beefed up security measures in Meghalaya and Manipur as activists demanding the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) have chalked out agitations. The students and NGOs in Meghalaya say that they will launch agitations from Monday onwards. On the other hand, the activists in Manipur will intensify their ongoing campaign.
The representatives of the activists in Meghalaya held a meeting with Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Thursday on the implementation of the ILP in the state. It did not come as a complete surprise that Mr. Sangma spurned the demand. Because, all these years the Union government has been refusing to reintroduce the ILP in Manipur. The inflamed activists in Manipur point out that the ILP is in force in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. They fail to understand why this should be denied in Manipur. The activists in Meghalaya have also taken the same stand in this regard.
Mr. Sangma was reported to have told the unconvinced and impassive representatives that since there is sufficient law to deal with the migrants in the state, there is no need to implement the ILP. He contended that the population of the non-locals in the state is decreasing. Quoting statistics, he said that while the population of the indigenous people constitute 86.5 per cent that of the outsiders is 13 per cent. Under the circumstances, the implementation of the ILP will send a wrong message. A separate directorate was opened to deal with the migrants. Besides there are already 39 labour inspectors to detect non-locals from work places. However, the activists fear that the indigenous people will be swamped sooner than expected and as such they have given final touches to launch protracted agitations.
On the other hand, the NGOs and students' organisations which had joined hands to demand the reintroduction of the ILP in Manipur have intensified various forms of agitations. At least 48 non-locals were detected at Kakching sub division in Thoubal district. It is alleged that they had obtained voters identity cards in the name of some Manipuris. Checking of such bogus voters is being done in all 60 Assembly constituencies in the state. There have been other forms of agitations.
According to the 2011 census, Manipur has a population of 22,93,896. Out of them as many as 7.04 lakh persons are non-locals. In the recent past, police had arrested some foreigners. They were convicted and sentenced to prison terms. In view of the agitations which had burgeoned at many parts, the cabinet took a decision on July 12, 2012 for the reintroduction of the ILP. The Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1873 which was a different nomenclature of ILP was lifted from Manipur on November 18, 1950. The Manipur Assembly took a unanimous resolution on the reintroduction of the ILP on July 13, 2012. The Manipur government sent a letter to the Union government on August 3, 2012 demanding the reintroduction of the ILP. However there has been no reply from the Union government. But the Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde was reported to have told some officials that it is not possible to reintroduce the ILP to Manipur now.
In the wake of the people's movement some insurgents had served quit notice to the migrant workers. All along some unidentified persons have been killing some migrant workers here and there. Indications are that the Union government cannot convince the activists in Manipur and Meghalaya since the ILP is in force in three other NE states.