Imphal: After protests were carried out in the State and at Jantar Matar in Delhi for the implementation of National Register Citizenship (NRC) in the State at the earliest, seven valley based students’ organization and a tribal students’ body named All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM) has submitted a memorandum to Union Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah, drawing attention for the early implementation of NRC in the State.
The memorandum under- signed jointly by the presidents of seven students’ bodies has appealed to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah to protect the indigenous of the state by implementation of NRC in the state at the earliest. It said that Manipur prior to its merger to the dominion of India in 1949 has strict regulations for outsider in visiting and settling in the state and this regulation was done away with by the then Chief Commissioner Himmat Singh in 1950 opening a floodgate for outsiders to come and settle in the state of Manipur which have only 22327 Sq. Km comprising 0.7 percent of the land surface of India.
In 1951-61, the population growth rate of Manipur is 35.04 percent while India is 24.64 percent and world is 22.00 percent, in 1961-71, Manipur is 37.53 percent, India is 24.80 percent and world is 20.20 percent, in 1971-81, Manipur is 32.53, India is 24.66 and world is 18.50, in 1981-91, the population growth rate of Manipur is 29.29 percent while India is 23.86 percent and world is 15.20 percent. In 1991-2001, Manipur was 24.86 percent, India was 21.54 percent and world was 12.60 percent while in 2001-2011, the population growth rate in Manipur was 24.50 percent, India was 17.64 percent and world was 10.70 percent, said in the memorandum.
The memo further said that this increase can only be explained by migration from neighbouring countries and states and just cannot be explained by natural birth. When one examines the composition of the population based on mother tongue spoken, it comes to the conclusion that the immigrants are mostly from the cognate tribes from neighbouring Myanmar, Nepali from Nepal and Muslims from Bangladesh,
the latter now a distinct force in Jiribam district bordering Assam.
In Tripura, Hindus were the main migrants from erstwhile East Pakistan and Bangladesh and most muslim migrants from this country reached Assam and Manipur with some settled in Nagaland. The people of Manipur had been demanding the updation and implementation of the NRC through the available records as done in Assam, with 1951 as the base year as Manipur joined the Union of India on 15th October 1949. Hence, we demanded that the NRC must also be updated in Manipur with 1951 as the base year.
Our demands are strictly based on the need for small communities in the region and the state to survive.
Manipur as you are fully aware comprises almost 90 percent hills where land cannot be bought by non ST, while in the valley, the population density is as per 2011 census 730 and will not be able to cater to aliens as our growing population needs to be catered first. This high population impacts the hills as many aliens are staying there as share-croppers and it will be difficult to dislodge them later. This impacts our indigenous hill brethren also and conflict has arisen now and then, including violent reaction. We have raised concerns over the abnormal surge of population in hilly areas and the mushrooming of villages,
said the memo.
A report last year indicates that there is an explosion in the number of new villages in the state, with many seeking recognition from the government. It was mentioned that in addition to the existing 2803 villages another 996 villages are seeking fresh recognition. Even the ILP regime which your Government has graciously extended to Manipur has little impact as there is no definition of the term inhabitant, conveyed the memo.
The state Cabinet has decided to adopt 1961 as the base year for identifying the inhabitant of Manipur.
It is our hope that at least the State Government can regulate the non-visitors. However, the most important is the regulation of visitors from other countries who have the habit of settling down in the state through marriages etc. It is our fervent appealed, that to protect the indigenous of the state, which are being swamped and marginalized in own home state, the NRC for the state with 1951 as the base year is prepared and the State Government is advised to establish a Manipur State Population Commission in line with the National Population Commission at the earliest, stated in the memo.