Don’t create issues amidst crisis situation: MANPAC to Govt

IMPHAL, 27th Jul: Demanding the state government to withdraw its order for resuming issuance of Inner Line Permit (ILP) passes to non-locals, Manipur People Against Citizenship Bill (MANPAC) has urged the government not to create unnecessary issues amid the current Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement, MANPAC convener Yumnamcha Dilipkumar recounted that the Home Department issued an order on March 17 and 18 barring entry of all non-locals to the state in an attempt to curb the spread of Covid-19. However, in a bizarre turn of event, it recently issued an order on July 20 for resuming issuance of ILP passes to non-locals from July 21 onwards despite the number of Covid-19 cases spiking at an alarming rate.
Several state CSOs have been extending assistance to security personnel posted at ILP check posts with the aim of protecting the indigenous people of the state, particularly in Jiribam where the frontline warriors along with the local CSOs are battling the crisis with huge risk to their lives. Similar situations are being witnessed at Moreh, Mao and Jessami, he conveyed.
However, one of the burning questions is whether the non-locals, who are arriving in the state via the multitude of flights, have been thoroughly checked for possession of ILP passes or not. It is the wish of the people that the ILP passes of non-locals be checked, just like they have to undergo the Covid-19 test, the convener asserted.
Although the state government's efforts for ensuring the return of natives via train or flights have been appreciative, the number of Covid-19 positive cases is surging in the state. There have been continuous reports of people returning to Manipur, but barely any report of non-locals returning to their respective states. In addition, the state government did not make any arrangements to help them return home and as such, the government's reasoning of resuming ILP issuance on the ground of shortage of skilled labour is highly questionable, Dilipkumar remarked.
Demanding the cancellation of the order, Dilipkumar recounted that the ILPS was implemented in the state after a prolonged struggle, which even claimed the lives of Sapam Robinhood and 9 Churachandpur denizens. Several people were arrested or injured in the protest against the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, later the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Subsequently, the Union Government agreed to implement ILPS, as a solution against the said Act. However, it is unsettling to see hordes of non-locals being brought in when there is still some disagreement over the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation-1871 guidelines, he added. Condemning the state government’s order to bring in more non-locals to state instead of discussing ways to send back the ‘outsiders’ who have been residing in the state for a long time; Dilipkumar, however, lauded the government's initiative of opening a website to gather data for providing jobs to the unemployed indigenous youth of the state.
The convener then said that a formal letter would be sent to the authority concerned to look into the number of non-locals who have entered the state following BJP national leader Ram Madhav's claim of being the first person to be issued an ILP pass, particularity during the lockdown period with special emphasis on those who were allowed to enter the state without ILP passes.

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