IMPHAL, Aug 17 - Manipur is in flames again for the last two days after the intensification of the public agitation demanding the implementation of the Inner Line Permit System (ILPS) to regulate influx of outsiders into the Northeastern border State.
Meanwhile, 13 persons including higher secondary students, seven local club leaders launched a fast unto death agitation here demanding implementation of ILPS, after five other hunger strikers were picked up by the police on Sunday.
Imphal, the State capital woke up as usual on Monday morning. However, all of a sudden crowds in the streets dwindled slowly with major streets wearing a deserted look as agitators, mostly youths and womenfolk blocked the roads by placing iron posts, boulder, burning tyres, in the afternoon, affecting normal life in greater Imphal area.
Manipur has been witnessing series of public agitations spearheaded by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS), a conglomerate of 40 civil society organisations since the last more than one month, demanding the enforcement of the ILPS.
In his Independence Day speech, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh said that the government would table and pass a Bill acceptable to the people after consultation with JCILPS and experts within the current month. But the agitators are yet to accept the statement of Chief Minister.
A JCILPS spokesman said it is high time for the people to work concertedly to uphold the movement to protect the indigenous people. The outsiders, he said, including those from Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh, account for more than 10 lakh of the State�s total population of 28 lakh against the combined 18-19 lakh population of the indigenous people, according to him.