Manipur team, led by CM

Manipur team, led by CM, to press New Delhi over three bills

Imphal June 3 (IANS) A team of Manipuri politicians, led by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, left for New Delhi on Friday to urge the central government to give assent to three bills the state assembly passed on August 31, 2015 on regulating the influx of “outsiders” but which some view as anti-tribal.

“The team shall camp in Delhi till appointments are granted from the offices of the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and others,” Ibobi said.

The centre has been reluctant to give assent since the tribals are opposing the contentious bills terming them “anti-tribal”.

State BJP president Khetrimayum Bhabananda was conspicuous by his absence from the team. Instead, the party deputed its spokesman and the media coordinator.

Two veteran politicians, Moirangthem Nara and Okram Joy, are already in Delhi.

N. Sovakiran, president of the Manipur People’s Party said: “The team will apprise the central leaders of the absence of any mechanism to regulate the influx of outsiders. Even foreigners come and settle in Manipur. The Manipuris will soon be swamped.”

Referring to the police notification announcing a cash award of Rs 500,000 for information leading to the arrest of Khomdram Ratan, the convener of Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System, Sovakiran said: “It is an act of lobotomized brain. The police action is based on a Facebook photo which says that Ratan is a member of an outlawed outfit. Facebook photos and information are unreliable and there are instances (of this) galore. It will be better if the police backs down.”

Ratan has clarified that the Facebook photograph is morphed.

The tribals in Manipur have announced a series of agitations this month to oppose the enactment of the bills. Manipur has also been seeing agitations demanding enactment of the bills. Women continue blocking the roads, stage sit in protests while several students have been on hunger strike.

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