Manipur Government on Thursday decided to urge the Centre to give assent to the Manipur People’s (Protection) Bill 2018 and keep Manipur out of the purview of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
Notably, the Manipur People’s (Protection) Bill 2018 was passed in the State Assembly on July 23, 2018 to regulate entry and exit of non-Manipuris from outside the State.
A decision to this effect was taken at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday which was chaired by Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh.
The Cabinet meeting according to a press release issued by the Chief Minister’s secretariat in Imphal on Thursday evening also decided to urge the Union Government to exclude the state of Manipur from the jurisdiction of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Observing that the population of the State which has a large number of ethnic groups each with unique dialects, customary laws and practices, is only about 0.2 per cent of the whole of the country, the release stated that adequate constitutional protection is necessary to protect this small indigenous population.
There is apprehension in the mind of the people of Manipur that the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will not be in the interest of the indigenous people, the release added.
It said there is also apprehension that once the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is implemented in Manipur on becoming an Act, the State could be flooded with a large number of illegal immigrants and foreigners from neighboring countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar etc as international border are porous.
Lok Sabha has passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on January 8, 2019 and is pending in Rajya Sabha while the President of India is yet to give assent to the Manipur People’s (Protection) Bill 2018.
According to reports, Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will allow citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014.
Reports said the State Chief Minister N Biren and some ministers have left Imphal for New Delhi on Thursday to attend the party’s convention which is scheduled to be held in the national capital from January 11-12.
The Chief Minister is also expected to meet Prime Minister and Home minister in connection with the ongoing issues.