Strike announced in Manipur over Inner Line Permit

Imphal, May 3 (IANS) An umbrella group demanding re-introduction of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in Manipur on Tuesday announced a general strike in the state from May 5 to 7.

Khomdram Ratan, convener of the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS), made this announcement at a press conference in Imphal on Tuesday evening.

He said it was the first step of the renewed movement.

“There will be more agitations in the coming days until the three bills pending in the office of the President are given assent. A meeting on Monday resolved to intensify the anti-migrant agitations,” he said.

The three bills — the Protection of the Manipur Peoples Bill, 2015; the Manipur Land Reforms & Land Revenue (7th Amendment) Bill, 2015; and the Manipur Shops and Establishment (2nd amendment) Bill, 2015 — were passed by the Manipur assembly on August 31 last year.

However, in view of objections from the state’s tribals, the governor referred the bills to the President of India.

The JCILPS is unhappy over the way political parties and elected representatives were delaying the bills.

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh told tribal representatives to consult Supreme Court lawyers, and if there was anything against tribals, the state government was ready to make amendments to the three legislations.

After the bills were passed, a student was killed and over 500 other people were injured in agitations pressing for the Inner Line Permit.

Tribals in Churachandpur district launched protests and eight youths were gunned down and another youth died near the protest site.

Tribal organisations refused to claim the bodies, saying the unconditional withdrawal of the bills should precede it.

Ratan said: “The government has not implemented the provisions of the MoU signed with the JCILPS. The bills are for the protection of the indigenous people of Manipur and not against any tribe or community.”



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