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Agitation seeking NRC in Manipur reaches New Delhi

First Published: 17th March, 2023 17:58 IST

Representatives of the All Manipur Students Union (AMSU), Manipur Students Federation (MSF), Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur (DESAM), Kuki Students Association (KSA) Students' Union Of Kangleipak( SUK ) , Apunba

The demand for implementation of NRC in Manipur is getting louder with every passing day and in fact the agitation has now reached New Delhi.

After agitators tried to storm Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s residence on March 13 demanding for the same, the agitating students groups today staged a peaceful demonstration at the Jantar Mantar in support of their demands.

Representatives of the All Manipur Students Union (AMSU), Manipur Students Federation (MSF), Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur (DESAM), Kuki Students Association (KSA) Students’ Union Of Kangleipak( SUK ) , Apunba Ireipak-ki Maheiroi Singpang Lup (AIMS) and All Naga Students’ Association of Manipur (ANSAM) took part in the peaceful protest.

Speaking to Northeast Live, Chand Meetei Potshangbam, leader of World Meetei Council, highlighted that NRC is a necessity in Manipur in the prevailing context owing to unabated entry of illegal immigrants.

He said,”We the 7 students organisations from Manipur AMSU, MSF, DESAM, KSA SUK, AIMS and ANSAM are demanding National Register of Citizens (NRC) as Manipur shares boundaries with foreign countries like Myanmar. Illegal immigrants are entering and settling in Manipur. There are so many of them (illegal immigrants) who have settled in Manipur.”

The World Meetei Council leader also pointed out that such illegal immigrants have taken to poppy cultivation and poses to be a severe threat to the indigenous population.

In this context, Chand Meetei Potshangbam said,”Amongst them some of them are involved in poppy cultivation. So this is a very serious threat to the indigenous people of the state and so we need to check, detect and deport them according to the law of the land.”

Potshangbam maintained that the demand for NRC in Manipur is a long pending demand but has allegedly failed to receive a response from the Centre. He added,”The demand for NRC is a long pending demand, it is not a new one. In the year 2022 also we have submitted a memorandum to the Honourable Prime Minister and the Honourable Home Minister. But so far we are not getting any kind of positive response. So we have come here to urge the central leaders to implement NRC in Manipur.”

On the other hand, KSA leader Bidyananda also emphasized on the fact that NRC for Manipur is the need of the hour as he mentioned about illegal migrants entering the state by taking advantage of the porous International Border (IB) with Myanmar. The KSA leaders said,”Manipur has a very porous border through which people infiltrate and we do not even know. So no one knows as to when outsiders entered Manipur and settled there.”

He demanded,”As per Constitutional norms, NRC provisions must be framed and implement NRC provisions as deemed necessary for Manipur. It is a long pending demand but it has come to limelight because the reserved forest areas in the hills of Manipur, infiltrators have encroached upon such forest areas and settled there and destroyed the land by cultivating poppy. Forest is totally destroyed.”

Dramatic scenes were witnessed in the heart of Imphal city on March 13 afternoon as members of at least 6 students organisations took to the streets demanding implementation of NRC and setting up of the Population Commission.

It may be mentioned that the Manipur Assembly on August 5, 2022 had unanimously adopted two private member resolutions to set up a State Population Commission and implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

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