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Naga and Meetei CSO demands NRC to identify illegal immigrants

Last Updated on February 17, 2023 by SPN Editor

In a historic event, CSO demands NRC in Manipur. The United Naga Council (UNC) and the Coordination Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) have urged the State Government to adopt the National Register of Citizenship (NRC) to scientifically identify illegal immigrants to push them back and check further illegal infiltration into the State.

UNC and COCOMI also displayed a chart of some particular districts for information of the State Government on the number of abnormal explosions of villages year-wise, while for the Meeteis and Naga dominated areas, the number of villages remain constant. They demanded immediate checking and correction of the increasing number of villages.

As per the data compiled by government officials and scholars, many unrecognized villages popped up in five specific districts namely Chandel, Tengnoupal, Kangpokpi, Churachandpur, and Pherzawl districts. As per census data 2011, 205 unrecognized villages out of 260 popped up in Chandel while 130 out of 168 in Tengnoupal, 304 out of 570 in Kangpokpi, 281 out of 547 in Churachandpur, 14 out of 70 newly popped up.

The two CSOs also demanded the government to immediately examine the said chart and take the necessary action thereof at the earliest. Even though the State Cabinet had already approved the establishment of Manipur State Population Commission in December 2019, no follow-up action has been seen till date.

In a historic joint press conference held at Manipur Press Club that ostensibly showed the unity of the indigenous Meetei and Naga on Sunday, COCOMI Coordinator L Ratankumar said that COCOMI and UNC will never allow concoction and distortion of Manipur history by illegal migrants who recently sneaked in the State with the diabolic plan to disintegrate the State.

He maintained that Meetei and Naga are the two indigenous ethnic communities settled the in State since time immemorial and they have been considering for a long as how they work together for a common future. He said that in past decades when UNC expressed something, there was numerous exchange of words among the CSOs, and keeping in view the common future, they have decided to work together after having forgotten and buried the past hatchets.

The steps taken by two communities is to safeguard the land from illegal influxes. Both CSO are now ready to work together, hence as a first step, these CSO demands NRC to be implemented in the State.

He said that COCOMI and UNC have jointly submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister N Biren on Saturday, drawing his attention to the pressing issue of unregulated inflow of migrants into the State since 1947 and its threats to the native people territorially, economically, and socio-politically.

In the joint memo, the two bodies stated that Manipur has been witnessing an influx of non-native people from outside the State for the last many decades and the menace is escalating year after year. Many of the present socio-political unrest in the State is directly or indirectly the consequences of the influx of migrants and illegal immigrants from the neighbouring State/countries especially Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

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 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. 

From the long porous international boundary of Myanmar besides Bangladesh and Nepal a large number of illegal immigrants are continuously migrating into the state. These people have not only illegally entered into Manipur State but continuously keep on 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 remain as silent spectator without any control of such unreasonable increase of new villages which are supposed to be the villages of illegal immigrants coming from the neighbouring countries, especially from Myanmar. This is the main reason why CSO demands NRC.

The present social unrest, conflicts, chaos, and communal tensions persisting among the diverse section of the society are closely connected to demographic imbalance and land issues, Thus, 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. To this end, we need scientific and reliable data on the population of native people as well as bonafide citizens of the State, UNC and COCOMI stated in their memorandum.

UNC and COCOMI demanded the Chief Minister adopt 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 lot of systematic work and data collection is required prior to the adoption of NRC for which a competent independent body is needed so that the State Government can execute the necessary actions according to the recommendation and advice of such a body.

They also demanded the establishment of a competent State Population Commission which is highly essential at the juncture to be established by the State Government at the earliest. They also demanded recognition of random villages be stopped without verification. 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 to exchequer and deprive the rightful share of the genuine inhabitants.

Stating that CSOs of the native people of Manipur State had held many rounds of discussion sessions to formulate an effective formula to address the issue for the collective good of the State, it stated that CSOs have adopted and prioritized some important resolutions.

UNC President Kho John, General Secretary S. Milan, COCOMI Assistant Coordinators YK Dhiren, Joychandra Konthoujam, Th Somorendra, COCOMI Members Khuraijam Athouba, Ng Deba, Surjit, Laikhuram Jayenta, Ph Shyamchand and UNC Information Secretary Stephen Lamkong were also present at the press meet.

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