Manipuri groups protest, demand inner line permit system

New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) Over 300 people belonging to various groups from Manipur staged a protest here on Monday, demanding inner line permit system to prevent outsiders from settling in the state.

The protesters, who marched from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar, submitted memorandums addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee at their respective offices.

With slogans favouring inner line permit, the protesters urged the central government to frame a policy incorporating their demands such as entry passes for outsiders and tourists with limited validity.

“The indigenous population of Manipur is in danger because of outsiders. Manipur has a population of 27 lakh and out of them 9 lakh are non-Manipuris. There is no policy to stop people from Myanmar and Bangladesh from settling in Manipur,” Seran Rojesh, former advisor to the Manipur Students Union in Delhi, told IANS.

The inner line permit is a special pass or permit that was required to enter the northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.

The system was introduced by the British to protect their commercial interests, particularly in oil and tea.

Rojesh said their protest against the state government on the issue had gone unheeded, which compelled them to protest in the national capital and seek help from the central government.

Manishwar Nongmaithem, a Manipuri student leader, told IANS: “This is very much required. To bring things under control it is important to stop giving permanent residential certificates to people who have been staying in Manipur since then.”

Their other demands are that 1951 be set as the base year to detect the non-Manipuris, establishment of a full fledged government department to regulate the entry of non-Manipuris and preventing outside companies and industrialists from acquiring individual or community owned land.

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