IMPHAL, Jan 10 - Manipur Cabinet on Thursday urged the Union Government to exclude the State of Manipur from the jurisdiction of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
A Cabinet meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led coalition government with Chief Minister N Biren Singh in the chair also decided to urge the Centre to give assent to the Manipur People’s (Protection) Bill 2018.
The Bill, which seeks to regulate entry and exit of non-Manipuris from outside the State, was passed in the State Assembly on July 23 last year. According to the Bill, non-Manipuris are required to get a permit from the authority to enter the State.
Reviewing the present situation arising after passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha, the Manipur Cabinet also observed that the population of the State which has a large number of ethnic groups each with unique dialects, customary laws and practices, is only about 0.2 per cent of the whole of the country.
In a press release, Chief Minister’s Secretariat here said that adequate constitutional protection is considered necessary to protect this small indigenous population. Accordingly, the Manipur Bill 2018 was passed to protect the interests of the indigenous population of the State, it said.
It added that there is apprehension that once the CAB is implemented in Manipur, the State could be flooded with a large number of illegal immigrants and foreigners from neighboring countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, etc., as the international borders are porous.
Meanwhile, the Congress party and regional parties including Manipur People’s Party and North East Indian Development Party have opposed the move of the Centre for passing the CAB.
Various civil society organisations including the All Manipur United Clubs Organisation and Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit system (JCILPS) have condemned the passing of the CAB. JCILPS and Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur have separately asked the State Government to announce their stand.
The National People’s Party, Manipur State unit which is a coalition partner in the ruling Manipur Government has also opposed the CAB and expressed the need to discuss the matter thoroughly in its State executive meeting of the party on January 12.