Centre to set up mechanism to protect Manipur from Citizenship Bill: CM Biren Singh

Jimmy Leivon
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Manipur CM N. Biren Singh (Express file photo)

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Friday said that Central leaders, including the Home minister Amit Shah, is actively considering to set up a mechanism to ensure that the people of Manipur are not affected by the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).

Singh along with the representatives of Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC) and representatives of some prominent political parties met the Union Home Minister on December 3 midnight.

During the meeting, he said, Amit Shah once again assured the state delegates that a mechanism would be brought into effect while passing CAB in order to uphold the interest of the people of the North East region.

It would be announced by Union Home Minister Shah in a proper forum at a suitable time, he said. Urging the people not to be apprehensive, Singh said that the Centre may either bring back the ‘permit system’, which was abolished by the then Chief Commissioner of Manipur, Himmat Singh in 1950 or extend the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 currently enforced in some neighbouring states among others. During his Delhi visit, the Chief Minister also met Union defence minister Rajnath Singh.

Meanwhile, representatives of Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC) who also arrived today were prevented from holding consultative meetings.

The representatives were reportedly scheduled to meet a group of women folks and CSO leaders at the women market in the heart of Imphal to convey the development of the meeting with the Union home minister.

However, soon after their arrival at the airport the MANPAC leaders were escorted by the police till its office at Kwakeithel and prevented from proceeding towards the meeting venue. A team of police was also stationed outside the office.

Three of the MANPAC representatives who arrived earlier were allegedly picked up by the police and released after spending two hours under detention.

“We strongly condemned the act of the Government. It is our duty to inform the people of the outcome of the meeting”, said Yumnam Dilipkumar, convener MANPAC.

K. Meghchandra, Superintendent of Police Imphal West district clarified that no one was detained by the police. He contended that police was taking up precautionary measures as the public meeting planned by MANPAC was not conducive.

Standing firm on their demand not to implement CAB in Northeast, Yumnam Dilipkumar said that a public meeting will be organised on Saturday to decide further course of action.