Underlining the demographic peculiarities prevalent in the Northeastern states that are strongly bound by ethnic ties, the chief ministers of Nagaland and Mizoram have demanded the Centre’s intervention in the escalating Manipur crisis over the Inner Line Permit (ILP).
Manipur’s local demography has three main components — the primarily Hindu Meitei community and the two Christian Naga and Kuki-Mizo tribal communities.
Nagalang CM TR Zeliang, who met Union minister Rajnath Singh on Monday to apprise him on what is happening in Manipur, told HT: “I have requested the Centre to kindly render advice to the Manipur governor not to give his assent to the three bills that were passed in the legislative assembly on August 31.”
HT accessed the letter written by the CM of Mizoram Lal Thanhawla to PM Modi, which said: “…I would like to request you to ensure that the central government does not give its consent to the three bills passed by the Manipur legislative assembly as they are directly against the tribal people of the state.”
On August 31, the Manipur assembly passed three bills—Protection of Manipur People Bill, 2015, Manipur Land Revenue & Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2015, and Manipur Shop & Establishment (Second Amendment) Bill, 2015 —raising the spectre of fear among the tribal people that the road to ILP was being cleared.
The bone of contention—the ILP— an old demand of the Meitei community aimed at safeguarding the community’s rights from influx by outsiders — is being opposed by the two tribal groups.
Global watchdog Amnesty International has sought a “prompt, full and independent investigation into all allegations of human rights abuses related to protests in the state...”.