By our journalist
IMPHAL, July 9: At least seven student organizations have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prepare a National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Manipur with 1951 as the base year and to form a Manipur state population commission (MSPC) in accordance with the National Population Commission.
In a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister, seven organizations namely; AMSU, ANSAM, AIMS, DESAM, KSA, MSF and SUK said Manipur had strict regulations for foreigners visiting and settling in Manipur before it was merged into the Dominion of India in 1949.
Saying the regulation, however, was withdrawn by the then Chief Commissioner Himmat Singh in 1950 and opened a floodgate for foreigners to come and settle in Manipur which was only 0.7% of India’s land surface, student organizations have sued that the decadal population growth rate of Manipur increased sharply after the then Chief Commissioner rescinded immigration regulations.
According to the organizations, Manipur experienced a population growth of 35.04% during the period 1951-1961; 37.53% (1961-71); 32.46% (1971-81); 29.29% (1981-91); 24.86% (1991-2001) and 24.50% (2001-11).
Claiming that the population growth observed in the past decades was unnatural, the memorandum states that most of the immigrants who entered Manipur are related tribes from Myanmar, Nepalis from Nepal and Muslims from Bangladesh.
The memorandum urged the government to update the NRC in Manipur with 1951 as the base year.
Further claiming that the Inner Line Permit scheme which has been extended to Manipur lacks provisions to rescue the indigenous peoples of Manipur and does not identify who the indigenous peoples are, the seven student organizations alleged that many foreign nationals have already settled in Manipur and the least the state government can do is properly regulate the influx of foreigners.
The organizations urged the Prime Minister to advise the state government to establish a state population commission with technical experts and prepare the NRC with 1951 as the baseline year to protect the state and its people.
Copies of the memorandum were also submitted to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Minister of State for External Affairs RK Ranjan Singh and Lok Sabha MP Dr Ng Lorho Phoke.
By our journalist