Manipur still tense over ILP

Manipur still tense over ILP

Manipur still tense over ILP

After two days of violent protests in Manipur’s Churachandpur district over three bills passed by the manipur government on Monday that aimed at effectively putting in place an Inner Line Permit (ILP) system, Wednesday witnessed a bit of calm though tension prevailed amid reports of sporadic acts of violence.

The apex body of the various rebel groups the United Peoples’ Front and Kuki National Organisation, who are currently engaging in suspension of operation with the state and central government along with the Zomi Revolutionary Organisation on Wednesday warned the Manipur government of dire consequences if the legislative Assembly fails to withdraw the three bills passed on August 31. The decision was announced on Wednesday in a meeting held at Churachandpur.

Curfew was relaxed on Wednesday in Churachandpur district to enable residents to buy essential commodities but it was re-imposed after a mob burned down a government office and a mobile tower in the districts. A protest rally has been organised on Thursday in Churachandpur.

At least eight people have been killed and more than 50 injured after violence erupted on Monday evening following passage of the three bills — Protection of Manipur People Bill 2015, Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (seventh amendment) Bill 2015, and Manipur Shops and Establishment (second amendment) Bill 2015 — in the Assembly on August 31.

The bills were passed as the state government wanted to dowse down the agitation in the Imphal valley seeking a strict ILP regime that would check the entry of outsiders in Manipur. The pro-ILP agitations were on for two months.

But Tribal civil society groups — All Tribal Students Union Manipur , Kuki Students Organization and All Naga Students Association Manipur  — were dead opposed to the introduction of the bills; they feel that these bills overlap the Manipur Hill People Administration Regulation Act, 1947, which gives special safeguard to the land owned by the tribals in Manipur.

Meanwhile, almost all mobile internet and SMS services, except for BSNL, were shut down on Wednesday midnight. The decision was taken to prevent spreading of rumours through social media, government sources added.

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