A mob set the residences of a Manipur minister and two legislators ablaze on Monday evening to protest the passing of allegedly “anti-tribal” bills in the 60-member assembly.
Several frontline tribal organisations have also called a 12-hour shutdown on Tuesday to protest these bills they say are against the interests of the tribal people.
The residences of Manipur minister in charge of family welfare, P Tonsing, and two MLAs – M Vaiphei and V Ralte – were burnt in Churachandpur district hours after three bills were passed. These include the Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill 2015 and Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Bill 2015.
Kuki and Naga tribal organisations said the bills were against the spirit of Article 371C and Manipur Hill People Administration Regulation Act of 1947 that safeguard the rights of tribal people over land and resources.
Manipur has virtually been paralysed by an agitation seeking imposition of Inner Line Permit (ILP) for checking the influx of outsiders. The bills are expected to pave the way for ILP on the lines of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. The agitation was intensified after the death of a student in police action on July 8.
The combined population of the indigenous people living in the hills and plains of the state is around 18-19 lakh, while the outsiders, including those from Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh, account for more than 10 lakh out of the State’s total population of 28 lakh, according to the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System.