Manipur steps up vigil on border, detains illegal migrants

Over 40 migrants of “suspicious nationality” were detained in Manipur as police and civil society organisations stepped up vigil along the state border to check influx of displaced Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, police said.

Of the 46 detained, pending inquiries, many were children as young as nine-years-old.

The civil society groups rounded up the labourers who were sneaking into Manipur through Jiribam district. They were handed over to the police on Monday night.

During preliminary interrogation the detainees said they were from Assam and Bihar and were mostly construction workers. However, they did not possess identity papers and some of them had “fake” identity cards.

Meanwhile the Kangleipak Students Association (KSA) said that at least 66 non-locals have filed nomination papers for the October 7 panchayat elections in Manipur. Most of the nomination papers were filed in Jiribam district.

KSA President M. Laksham said: “The popular demand is that non-locals should not take part in the state elections. It will be better if they withdraw their nomination papers.”

Laksham said: “The government had assured the KSA delegates that an all- party meeting on the popular demand would be convened. Besides, identification of the non-locals from the voters’ list shall be completed within three months. It is unfortunate that the government has not kept its word.”

There has been a campaign for the implementation of the Inner Line Permit system in Manipur which was withdrawn in 1950. This system has been in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. During the campaign ten persons had died.

The three bills passed by the Manipur Assembly in this connection were not given the presidential assent.

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