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Manipur civil societies urge CM to stop influx of immigrants

Leaders of the Co-ordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) and United Naga Council (UNC) addressing the media here at the Press Club said a memorandum was submitted to Chief Minister N Biren on Saturday.

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Imphal: Civil societies of Manipur on Sunday called upon the state government to immediately stop the influx of illegal immigrants from Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh as the demography of the state has been affected.

Leaders of the Co-ordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) and United Naga Council (UNC) addressing the media here at the Press Club said a memorandum was submitted to Chief Minister N Biren on Saturday.

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The memorandum pointed out that the original native people of Manipur are concerned with the unregulated inflow of migrants and illegal immigrants to Manipur state since 1947 and its threats to the native people territorially, economically, and socio-politically.  

Many of the present socio-political unrest in the state are directly or indirectly the consequences of the influx of migrants and illegal immigrants from the neighbouring countries especially Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Nepal it was stated. 

The native people of Manipur can no longer afford to remain silent as this menace has been adversely impacting the future security and well-being of the original natives it said. It further said, “It has adversely impacted the native demography, social order, and geographical topography which is often manifested in racial, ethnic, religious, and political tensions in the state.  

The immigrants keep coming and are now claiming ownership over the native people’s land. Many unrecognised villages have been mushrooming in some specific hill districts of Manipur for the last some decades and the state Government remained a silent spectator without any control over such unreasonable increase of new villages which are supposed to be the villages of illegal immigrants coming from the neighbouring countries, especially from Myanmar, it was added.

If the present situation is allowed to continue, more serious unwanted ethnic conflicts and violence is imminent in the state, to avert such unwanted eventualities, appropriate and timely intervention is required from the state government to ascertain the legality of such citizenships and the landholdings, it was stated.

The two bodies demanded scientific and reliable data on the population of native people as well as bonafide citizens of the state. They proposed the adoption of the National Register of Citizenship (NRC) to scientifically identify the illegal immigrants to push them back and check further illegal infiltration into the state.

A competent State Population Commission is highly essential at this juncture to be established by the Manipur Government at the earliest. 

Without verification, random village recognition must be stopped and a process of de-recognising illegal and fake villages with a cut off base year must be put into proper regulation as it has become a burden and a parasite for the government exchequer and deprives the rightful share of the genuine inhabitants, it said. There is an abnormal explosion of villages year-wise, while for the Meitei and Naga dominated areas, the number of villages remains constant it was stated.  

Chandel district bordering Myanmar had 164 villages till 1969 but it increased to 269 in 2011 and another 205 new villages are waiting for recognition. 

Another border district Tengnoupal had 68 villages in 1969 but the figure increased to 168 in 2011 and another 130 villages were waiting for recognition. 

Kangpokpi had just 179 villages in 1969 but increased to 570 in 2011 and another 304 villages waiting for recognition.

Churachandpur had 283 villages in 1969 but in 2011 it increased to 547 with another 281 villages waiting for recognition. The government was urged to immediately start working so that immigrants can be identified and further influx stopped. 

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