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Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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Manipur government celebrates Amit Shah’s nods to extend ILPS; declares holiday

IT News

Imphal, Dec 10

Rejoicing the announcement for extension of the Inner line permit system under the Eastern Bengal Frontier Regulation, 1873, in Manipur during debate for passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 yesterday in Lok Sabha by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Manipur government today celebrated in a grand way at Bhagyachandra Open year theatre (BOAT) here in Imphal.

“This is a historic day, and Manipur need to appreciate Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh not to be left aside Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel for understanding the sentiment of Manipur”, A jubilant Chief Minister, N. Biren Singh told while speaking on the occasion.

The Chief Minister gives credit to all the meira paibis , local clubs, civil society organizations and the people of Manipur for pushing the government for to take such a historic decision.

“BJP is the only party which has so much concerns about the people of Manipur, no other government in the past had ever taken any such decision in the interest of the people of Manipur”, N. Biren Singh said.

He however, did not mentioned the exact time for extension of the ILPS in the state of Manipur.

CAF and PD Minister Karam Shyam while appreciating the Narendra Modi led Government at the centre mock the civil society organisations’ leaders as well as resource persons who criticized the government during discussion hour at local television programme over the assurances by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

“They only find ways to criticized the government, those leaders of the civil society organizations seem to be pessimist all the time to whatever is being done by the government”, Karam Shyam said.

“I appealed to switch off electricity when any such programme is aired “, Karam Shyam said mocking them.

The street in Imphal even though witnessed less traffic due to the total shut down called was seen crowded with vehicles of the BJP Karyakartas playing songs in their vehicles. Crackers were blasted celebrating the announcement even forgetting that some students are having tough examination.

At BOAT, over thousands members of the BJP were seen attending the celebration. Slogans praising the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and other central BJP leaders filled the air of BOAT.

At Thoubal district, MLA Paonam Brojen organised a rally for celebration of the HM announcement to extend ILPS in the state of Manipur defying the total shut down called by the All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU).

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Amit Shah’s assurance for extension of ILPS in Manipur -too early for celebration

Home Minister’s announcement to extend the Inner Line Permit System under Eastern Bengal Frontier Regulation, 1873, in Manipur during debate for passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 yesterday in Lok Sabha, needs appreciation from all communities of the state for two reasons. Reason 1- the kind of legislation has been a long pending demand by the people of Manipur. Reason 2- if the said ILP is introduced or extended in Manipur CAB may be exempted and influx of migrants can be checked.
Well, for the people of Manipur, it seems to have no significance in discussing over the legitimacy of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, as our voice has no place in the Lok Sabha which has 543+2 members including nominees. Whether it is against the constitution of India or not, literally it has nothing to do with Manipuri people. Any Manipuri, who have little A,B,C about the constitution of India knows that there are provisions in the constitution of India that is against the interest of Manipur. For example, article 3 of the constitution of India which empowered the parliament to form a new States or alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing has been always a threat to the state of Manipur, it is also worth mentioning the AFSPA 1958 which is still in force, etc., and our demand are useless as in number game minorities with less representation in the law making body are not worth. So, it seems better in getting something than nothing at all when it comes to the state of Manipur. The first thing that we should be taking care is to make Manipuri survive and remain protected from any external intrusion to our identity, culture and tradition. If ILPS under the under Eastern Bengal Frontier Regulation, 1873 is extended, it is one means to fence the state from external intrusion.
But has the ILPS as announced by Amit Shah during discussion of the CAB in Lok Sabha yesterday, enough for a large scale celebration by even announcing state holiday. In second thought, the announcement for the need of extension of the ILPS in the state of Manipur does not officially declare that ILPS is enforced in Manipur. For official implementation, general procedure extending ILPS under Eastern Bengal Frontier Regulation, 1873, the state assembly of Manipur has to pass a resolution (Which has already done in 2012) and the matter after forwarding to the Union government has to table it in the form of amendment Bill in the parliament just as the CAB 2019 is done and later passing it has to be included in the official gazette. There is no short cut to the introduction of a new legislation or extension of an existing legislation. A mere announcement on sympathy ground is not legislation until it is passed following the due process of law.
Every persons need to be happy but celebration should be done after everything is in black and white.
What if the CAB , 2019 is passed before the enactment of ILPS as stated by HM is introduced?
In the section 3 clause 4 of the revise CAB 2019 introduced yesterday in Lok Sabha , it is stated, Nothing in this section shall apply to tribal area of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Six Schedule to the Constitution and the area covered under “the Inner Line” notified under the “Eastern Bengal Frontier Regulation, 1873”
Manipur still is not under the Sixth Schedule neither ILPS enforced. Before the passing of this Citizenship Bill  the HM should first pass an amendment for extension of ILPS in the Parliament so that the state of Manipur can also be included in the Section 3 clause 4 of the said Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019. Otherwise, the announcement by Home Minister Amit Shah which touched the sentiment of 1000s Manipuri will turn another poison.   

Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019: Proposal & Reactions

By -Dr. Rimmei Longmei
Head of Department of Political Science
Tetso College, Dimapur

Bringing unity in diversity by harmonizing the opposing forces of centripetal and centrifugal trends in the country for the achievement of common national goals is the purpose of federalism in India. As in all federations, there is a formal division of legislative, administrative and financial powers between the Centre and the constituent units. As provided in the 7th Schedule of the Constitution, the legislative powers have been divided into Union List, State List and Concurrent List. The Residuary powers have been vested with the Union Government. The Union List contains 97 subjects, State List has 66 subjects and there are 47 subjects in the Concurrent List. The Union List has given the Centre exclusive authority to act in matters of national importance – national security, defence, war, treaty, banking, citizenship, currency, communication, etc. the State List consists of subjects of local importance and the legislatures of the States have power to legislate upon the matters included in this list – law and order, justice, jail, police, agriculture, irrigation, public health, local self-government, etc. The Concurrent List consists of subjects which of local and national importance. Both the Union and the State governments may enact laws on these matters but the Union law prevails upon the laws of the States in case of repugnancy between the two.
Citizenship is a Union subject and in Part II of the Constitution from Articles 5-11, the question of Citizenship is dealt with. According to Article 5, at the commencement of the Indian Constitution, every person who has his/her domicile in the territory of India and who was born in the territory of India; or either of whose parents was born in the territory of India; or who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than 5 years immediately preceding such commencement, shall be a citizen of India. Articles 6 and 7 deal with the rights of Citizenship of Persons migrating from Pakistan to India and from India to Pakistan. According to Article 8, any person of India origin ordinarily residing in any country outside India shall be the citizen of India if such a person or either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents was born in undivided India and if he or she has been registered as a citizen of India by the diplomatic or consular representative of India in that country. Article 9 says that if a person voluntarily acquires the citizenship of a foreign state, that person shall not be the citizen of India. Articles 10 and 11 say about the power of Parliament to enact laws on citizenship and regulate by law all other matters relating to citizenship.
For regulating the matters relating to citizenship in future, the Parliament has enacted the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 which was amended in 1986, 1992, 2003, 2005, 2015, and 2016.All these amendments to the bill were not opposed. But the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 is seen as a problem. Why is there such a hue and cry protests against it?
When the Home Minister, Amit Shah introduced the Bill and tabled it in LokSabha2019 Parliament Winter Session was rocked by opposition parties coming together to oppose CAB 2019. The opposition vows to oppose it at all costs. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. As per the bill, Indian citizenship will be provided to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from the three countries to India till December 31, 2014, to put an end to them being treated as illegal immigrants in the country. They will also be eligible for naturalization within 6 years.
The opposition says the Bill violates Article 14 of the Constitution – Right to Equality (entire ethos of our democracy) and claims that citizenship cannot be given on the basis of religion. How can the proposed legislation be applied to those who were forced or compelled to seek shelter in India due to persecution on the ground of religion, questioned the opposition. Many leaders have put out their viewpoints opposing the Bill and also criticizing the intentions of the present government. For many, political agenda is behind it, and it is going against the entire Constitution of India. It is discriminatory and anti-national. Protests broke out despite government’s claim that the Bill is not against Muslims but infiltrators.
In the Northeast, protests erupted when the North East Students’ Organization (NESO), an umbrella organization of eight student bodies of the region launched protest marches across the region against the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), MizoZirlai Pawl (MZP), Garo Students’ Union (GSU), Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), Twipra Students’ Federation (TSF), All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) held protests rallies against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in their respective domains. They declare that North East is not the dumping ground of illegal Bangladeshis.It may be recalled that in this part of the country, the movement against illegal immigrants is an ongoing movement. To better check the problem of influx of illegal immigrants, the people of Northeast have been continuously pressing for introduction of Inner Line Permit (ILP). In Assam in particularly, deeply divided over National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise that seeks to weed out illegal immigrants, the Citizenship Amendment Bill is facing stiff resistance as people feel it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for deportation of illegal immigrants irrespective of religion. The cut-off date for Citizenship under Citizenship Amendment Bill is December 31, 2014.
I believe our country can do something better than this. While the pure intention to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities who were forced or compelled to seek shelter in India due to persecution on the ground of religion is a great gesture from a secular country, but since our country is facing the problem of over-population, we cannot afford to add to this existing problem. Instead of granting Indian citizenship to those persecuted on the ground of religion, India could play a crucial role in preventing such a crime under the banner of the United Nations as a strong nation. India needs to become a developed country to successfully face challenges of nation building within and without its territory. When India becomes a powerful nation it can use its power as leverage to influence the actions of other nations from committing religious persecution against those members ofHindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities. And in the context of Union-State Relations, the way Union Government is trying to enact a law on citizenship opposed by the States is a matter of grave concern. It becomes another tension area in Union-State Relations. Although Citizenship is a Union subject, voices of the States must be taken into account for the smooth functioning of Indian federalism.

Citizenship Amendment Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

IT News
Imphal, Dec 9

The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 has been introduced in the Lok Sabha, after rejecting the Opposition’s objections over its introduction. The Bill was introduced after the division of votes in the House. 293 members voted in favour of introducing the bill while 82 voted against the move.
Earlier, Home minister Amit Shah introduced the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 in the House amidst uproar by the opposition members. The legislation is intended to amend the existing law in order to grant an exemption to illegal migrants in selected categories.
Introducing the Bill, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Bill is not against minorities and does not violate Article 14 of the constitution.
Congress, TMC and DMK members opposed the introduction of the Bill in the House. Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said it is regressive and violates Article 14 of the constitution.
RSP leader N K Premchandran also opposed the Bill saying it violates the basic feature of the Constitution. Prof Saugata Roy of TMC also opposed Bill’s introduction.
Talking to media outside Parliament House, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 is in the interests of the Northeastern States and the country. He expressed confidence that the bill will get the nod from both the houses of the Parliament.

Salient features of the Citizen Amendment Bill 
- The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants of six communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship. The communities are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians. The legislation relaxes the 11-year criteria for citizenship to six years for refugees belonging to these six religions.
- The Bill also proposes to give immunity to such refugees facing legal cases after being found illegal migrants. The amendment will not be applicable to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and in the areas covered under the Inner Line Permit (ILP).
- The ILP regime is applicable in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram. The bill was passed by the last Lok Sabha but it could not be taken up in the Rajya Sabha.

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