Manipur on high alert to stop influx of Rohingya Muslims

Imphal/Guwahati, December 22: In a startling revelation, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Friday stated in the assembly that Rohingya Muslims have now started sneaking into the state, which shares a common border with Myanmar.

Singh was replying to a calling attention motion tabled by Congress member K. Meghachandra and said that the police at Moreh border town had arrested one Rohingya Muslim during a routine check.

The Chief Minister said that it was learnt that seven of them had sneaked into Manipur and that a manhunt was on. He said that checking had been intensified in the border districts and that the police had rounded up some 560 persons of doubtful nationality. He added that 105 undocumented ones were forced back.

A total of 178 undocumented persons were rounded up at Jiribam and unauthorised bamboo bridges used by the migrants were pulled down, Singh said. He appealed to one and all to be “sincere” on the issue.

“Truck drivers are bringing the outsiders and land is being allotted to them by officials. Some politicians use them as vote banks. All MLAs should conduct a survey in their respective constituencies to establish how many outsiders are there and inform me accordingly,” the Chief Minister said.

Congress legislator Meghachandra, insisting on the introduction of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in Manipur, said: “Activists are threatening to start the ILP agitations again and there should be a time frame to prepare the bills.”

Responding to Meghachandra, Singh assured the house that new ILP bills would be drafted to protect the indigenous people.

The Congress MLA further said that the ILP system was already in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.

Underlining the need for the ILP system, Meghachandra said that in 1948 the population of outsiders in Manipur was 2,719. According to the 2001 census, their population increased to 7,40,488, which is higher than the majority community in the state.

The total population of the majority community and the Manipuri Muslims is 9,18,266, the 2001 census said.

Edited by: Arnab Jyoti Das