4 killed, lawmakers attacked: Understanding the Manipur crisis

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Imphal
  • Updated: Sep 03, 2015 21:31 IST
Protests break out in Manipur. (ANI Photo)

Three people were killed and 14 were injured in protests that erupted in Churachandpur district of Manipur on Monday over three bills -- the Protection of Manipur People Bill, the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh amendment) Bill, and the Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill -- passed by the state assembly to protect indigenous people. A mob also set on fire the homes of a minister and three legislators.

The bills were the result of nearly two months of protests by several organisations demanding implementation of the 142-year-old inner line permit (ILP) system. This is all you need to know about the latest flare-up:

What is ILP?

Inner line permit (ILP), a British-era law first introduced in the then Naga Hills in 1873 to restrict the entry and movement of people from the plains. Now in force in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram, it is a travel document required to enter these states. The system's detractors say it hampers economic development and investments.

Why Manipur wants ILP?

Several organisations of the state, particularly in the four valley districts, are demanding stringent measures to control the influx of “outsiders”, a generic term used to describe all migrants including those who enter the country illegally from Bangladesh and even the rest of India. There are fears that the influx of outsiders is affecting the socio-economic and cultural balance of the state.

Why are tribals wary?

Three tribal groups, which have called a shutdown in the hill districts on Tuesday, are apprehensive that the bills will be used to take away their rights. Recently, some groups demanding ILP had allegedly termed the Kukis as “foreigners”.

Hill-plains divide

While the Hindu Meiteis are in a majority in Manipur’s plains, the hill population includes several tribes including Nagas and Kukis.

Latest flash-point

The three bills were passed after nearly two months of agitation, which had turned violent at times, by Meitei groups demanding introduction of the ILP. Tribal activists torched several houses of MLAs and MPs to protest the bills. The bills will be sent to the state governor for approval.

What the bills envisage

# Passes for non-Manipuris travelling to the state
# Non-Manipuri tenants will have to registers their names with govt
# Identity cards for employees in shops to keep tab on non-Manipuri workers
# Non-Manipuris will have to take govt permission to by land

Read: Manipur: 3 killed, curfew imposed in Churachandpur after mob fury

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