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Bandh over ILP issue paralyses life in Manipur

By Correspondent

IMPHAL, July 14 - A 14-hour statewide general strike and continuation of curfew severely hit normal life in Manipur today.

The statewide general strike was called by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) as part of their ongoing protest demanding implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) to regulate influx of outsiders (external and internal migrants) whose demographic influence has been threatening the socioeconomic, cultural and political practices of the people in Manipur.

Strike supporters came out in groups in some parts of Imphal and enforced the strike, forcing the market places and other establishments, excluding air traffic, to remain closed since dawn to dusk in the State capital even though curfew was relaxed for 11 hours till 4 pm. There are reports of protests during the strike, but police prevented them from continuing.

Curfew, imposed since July 8 after a Class XI student was killed in police action to control a protest march, continues to be in place in greater Imphal area, comprising two districts of Imphal West and Imphal East, though it has now been relaxed for some parts of the day since Saturday.

On March 16 this year, the Manipur Assembly passed the Manipur Regulation of Visitors, Tenants and Migrant Workers (MRVTMW) Bill, 2015. However, the JCILPS rejected the Bill, claiming that it does not provide the kind of protection that the ILP system guarantees.

The ILP, which regulates the entry of non-domicile citizens into a restricted region, is in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.

Terming MRVTMW Bill, 2015 �inadequate and meaningless�, a JCILPS functionary told The Assam Tribune that the government should be serious on the issue. If necessary certain laws can be made in the interest of the indigenous population. Why we can't have a regulation to protect ourselves, like others in North East, he observed.

Considering the public demand, the Congress government on Sunday decided to withdraw the Bill through an �emergency sitting� of the Assembly on Wednesday morning (July 15) to discuss the government�s resolution. The Business Advisory Committee meeting held with Assembly Speaker in the chair on Tuesday also took a decision in this regard.

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