Manipur people reject draft bill on migrants

Imphal, Aug 22 (IANS) A convention held in the Manipur capital on Monday rejected a draft bill of the state government on migrant workers, saying it had nothing on the protection of the indigenous people.

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh had announced that the draft bill would be passed during the short assembly session beginning from September 2.

Khaidem Mani, a senior advocate who spoke at the convention, said, “The draft bill does not say a word on the protection of the indigenous peoples. Beginning from the nomenclature of the bill, there is not a single word for the protection of the indigenous peoples. Instead, it is to facilitate the entry and stay of the migrant workers in Manipur.”

Other speakers were of the view that the three bills passed by the Manipur assembly on August 31, 2015, do not speak anything about protecting the indigenous peoples. This is not acceptable to the people, they pointed out.

The convention also resolved to draft a bill incorporating all demands and aspirations of the people and submit to the government.

The President had withheld assent to one bill and sent the two others for consideration of the assemly. Ibobi said the government has drafted a bill which is acceptable to all sections. While the tribals had not reacted to the draft bill, the valley dwellers have now rejected it.

Ten persons were killed in connection with the agitations against the legislations. Over 500 others were injured in police crackdowns.

While the tribals are refusing to claim the nine dead tribals, all these months the valley dwellers have launched various forms of agitations demanding the implementation of the Inner Line Permit system in Manipur. The system is in place in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.

–IANS

il/rn/vt

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