The Bengali settlers at Jiribam sub-division bordering Assam have strongly objected to the movement to reimplement the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in Manipur. A meeting of these Bengali speaking settlers was held at Kashimpur on Sunday to adopt a resolution opposing the movement.

The speakers claimed that the Bengalis there are out and out Manipuris pointing out that they were “born and brought up in Manipur”. The Bengalis there welcome the campaign for the reimplementation of the ILP in Manipur as a whole. However all of them will oppose it if it is sought to be imposed at Jiribam since they are “Manipuris”. Many sections have pointed out that if they have proof that they are Manipuris they would not be harassed in any manner and it is not known why they object to the ILP campaign since it is meant for the non-Manipuris only. The meeting was attended by village level elected members.

They said that the ILP should not be at the cost of the “peace and stability” and should never be forced on the people of this sub-division. They shall not accept the forms for obtaining ILP. Reports say that over 60 per cent of the people at Jiribam do not speak Manipuri. The speakers said that the elected representatives had been voted by the Bengali voters and yet they are shirking their responsibility during these trying times.

Meanwhile following a late night meeting with the Deputy Chief Minister G. Gaikhangam and Law Minister Devendra Thoudam the Joint Committee on ILP had staved off the plan to issue forms for ILP from Monday. Instead they will launch democratic campaigns now.

The government had sent the Assembly resolution on the ILP on August 3, 2012 to the Union government. Reacting to it the Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that the ILP could not be enforced in Manipur. But the Joint Committee said that it is double standard since it is in force in three states in NE region. Besides it contended that it amunted to ridiculing the Assembly resolution.

During the talks with the two Ministers the representatives of the Joint Committee had demanded the government participation in the sit-in on the issue to be held on November 25 in Delhi. The Ministers had agreed some other demands. However as regards serious demands the Ministers assured them that these would be looked into once Chief Minister Okram Ibobi is back from his foreign trip.