Bangladeshis, Rohingyas Facing Eviction From Manipur

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LOOKEAST REPORT |

Facing eviction and possible deportation, Bangladeshis and Rohingyas went on a rampage in Manipur, protesting the contentious Manipur People’s Protection Bill, 2018, that was recently passed in the State Assembly by the Biren Singh government.

Police retaliation wounded six protesters even as four cops, including a superintendent of police, were seriously injured. Section 144 has been clamped on the entire district of Jiribam.

Protesters in the clash with security force at Lalpani area.

All–Jiribam United Minority Peoples (comprising both Bengali hindu and muslim community people) have been protesting against the Manipur People’s Protection Bill,

 

People who have settled in the State after 1951 will require inner line permits to stay in Manipur and all facilities extended by the government to the indigenous people of the hill state will no longer be provided to them

 

2018, which was passed by the Manipur legislative assembly with 1951 as the base year.

The Jiribam police had resorted lathi charge and fired tear gas shells to control the hostile mob.

The bill that is in the eye of a storm aims to “protect the identity of indigenous people”. In other words, people who have settled in the State after 1951 will require inner line permits to stay in Manipur and all facilities extended by the government to the indigenous people of the hill state will no longer be provided to them.

Bangladeshi — and more recently Rohingyas — who have crossed over to India and settled in many parts of Manipur will be hit the hardest. No wonder, they formed a Joint Action Committee (JAC) to organise a protest, which was followed by the police crackdown. Their main objection is keeping 1951 as the base year, which will hit them hard.

Jiribam, which shares border with Assam, has witnessed large influx of Bangladeshis and ethnic Rohingyas over the years. The problem of Rohingyas has aggravated the issue of demographic change.

 

Bangladeshi — and more recently Rohingyas — who have crossed over to India and settled in many parts of Manipur will be hit the hardest. No wonder, they formed a Joint Action Committee (JAC) to organise a protest, which was followed by the police crackdown

 

On July 25, Bengali–speaking people settled in Jiribam took out a rally from Lalpani ground to Jiribam deputy commissioner’s office against the passing of Manipur People’s Protection Bill, 2018, with 1951 as the base year.

The bill was passed unanimously by the Assembly on July 23. It aims to grant the status of “natives” to Meitis, Pangal Muslims, Scheduled Tribes and others who moved to the state before 1951. The rest were categorised as “non–Manipuris” and they will have to register themselves within one month of the notification of the law. The rally was jointly organised by JAC Against Base Year 1951 of Manipur People Bill and All–Jiribam United Minority Peoples. They submitted a memorandum to DC Jiribam Robert Singh Kshetrimayum addressed to the state governor. ■

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