Manipur withdraws controversial Bill on regulation of visitors, migrant

Imphal(PTI): Manipur government on Sunday withdrew a controversial Bill meant for the protection of the interests of indigenous people after days of widespread protests across the state against the proposed legislation, which saw one student being killed last week.

People protest against police atrocities since the death of a student on Friday during a protest rally to demand imposition of Inner Line Permit syster in Imphal, Manipur on Saturday
People protest against police atrocities since the death of a student on Friday during a protest rally to demand imposition of Inner Line Permit syster in Imphal, Manipur on Saturday

The state government has decided to withdraw the Manipur Regulation of Visitors and Migrant Workers Bill, 2015, said a statement by N Ashok Kumar, Secretary to the Chief Minister. The Bill was passed on March 16 by the state Assembly. A special sitting of the Manipur State Assembly is being convened shortly, the statement added.

The Bill had come under attack from those demanding implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state, who charged saying it did little to protect the interests of indigenous people of the state. Indefinite curfew was imposed in state capital Imphal on Thursday after the death of a student during a clash between police and protesters.

With the situation improving, curfew was relaxed in the morning hours since Saturday. The Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) is spearheading the protest against the Bill and has been insisting on the passing of a new one to “safeguard the interests of indigenous people and fulfil their aspirations”.

Snapshot of violent protests (PTI)

Earlier, clashes erupted between agitators and police in the Greater Imphal area on Sunday as supporters of Inner Line Permit continued their defiance of the curfew, which entered its fifth day, and took to the streets in large numbers. Police said the forces burst teargas shells to control the agitators, who in turn used slingshots and catapults on them.

Both sides sustained minor injuries, police said, adding that the clashes took places after the end of the curfew relaxation hours at 12 noon.