Imphal: A total of 19 influential tribal groups in Manipur have stepped up the demand to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state to protect the indigenous people and to deal with the issue of illegal foreigners.

The indigenous 19 tribal federations and tribes submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday strongly demanding the NRC for filtering the foreigners out, putting them in detention centres and deporting them.

The organisations said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah in his speech in the Rajya Sabha on November 19, 2019 said that NRC would be implemented across the country.

“In the light of this perception, we call for the implementation of NRC in Manipur to safeguard the genuine citizens,” the tribal organisations submitted.

“It is the request to our responsible central government to open centres for detection and deportation of foreigners with immediate footsteps,” they said.

The tribal bodies said that in 1980 and 1994, the All Manipur Students Union and All Manipur Coordinating Committee had undergone an agreement twice with the Manipur government and the then governor V.K. Nair regarding the detection and deportation of foreign nationals from Manipur with the cut off base of 1951 for identifying the foreign nationals from genuine Indian citizens.

Nevertheless, the past as well present government in Manipur has not taken up any steps towards the agreement, they pointed out.

The copies of the memorandum of the tribal organisations, which included, Mao Council, Tangkhul Naga Headman’s Association, Thangal Union, Zeme Naga Council, Tarao Tribe Union, have also submitted to Home Minister Amit Shah, Manipur Governor La Ganeshan and Chief Minister N. Biren Singh.

They said that though the Central government extended the Inner Line Permit System to the state of Manipur in December 2019, most importantly, the fixation of indigenous people has yet not been defined.

As Manipur is a border state, the intrusion of immigrants from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal by far and autonomously had settled at large since the abolition of the Pass Permit and Permit System on November 18, 1950 by the then Chief Commissioner Himmat Singh, the organisations said.

They said that on this issue, no discerning step had been taken up so far for the last 75 years under the Foreigners Act 1946.

“Because of this continuous overflow of influxes, which subsisted within us, has now taken possession of the socio economic and political rights of the indigenous people. Bangladeshi and Myanmar Muslims have occupied the constituency of Jiribam and a large number of them scattered on average in valley areas.

“Myanmar kuki and nearby Lushai kuki have settled at an unsystematic population of some lakhs in number. They have now counteracted ownership against the occupant indigenous people in hill areas. Likewise, Nepali population has risen in tremendous numbers,” the tribal organisations pointed out.

Besides, the NRC with 1951 as the base year for recognising domicile, various Manipur students’ bodies also demanded the establishment of a State Population Commission to “check and balance the population growth”.

They said the indigenous communities are being “swamped and marginalised” in their own state by the “ever-increasing population” of outsiders.

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