We’re providing security to migrant workers: Manipur CM

Biren Singh expects the new government at Centre to initiate ‘major peace measures’ and implement NRC

Updated - June 11, 2024 08:52 am IST

Published - June 10, 2024 11:37 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Manipur CM N. Biren Singh. File

Manipur CM N. Biren Singh. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said his government was providing security to around 4,000 migrant labourers working at various construction sites in the State.

Also Read: After Mizoram, Manipur-displaced take refuge in Assam

In an interview with The Hindu, Mr. Singh said the security of the labourers from Bihar and Jharkhand was a priority.

The decision follows the killing of Shriram Hansda, 42, an Adivasi from Jharkhand’s Godda district on May 18. He was gunned down by armed miscreants in one of the first targetted attack reporetd against non-locals during the ongoing ethnic violence between the tribal Kuki-Zo and the Meitei people. Along with Hansda, two other labourers working for a water supply company were injured in the incident.

The Manipur police said they had arrested 27-year-old Sairom Birjit Singh, a member of the Kangleipak Communist Party, one of the seven valley-based Meitei extremist groups that has been routinely banned by the government.

“There was no security at the place where the labourer was killed. We have warned people that next time if any such incident happens then they will be engaged legally. There are around 4,000 workers engaged for highway construction, railway projects among others. We are providing security at these locations. If private companies request for security, we are ready to provide that also,” the Chief Minister said.

‘Extortions increased’

Mr. Singh said that it was true that extortions had increased in the past one year, but the message was clear that “rule of law” must prevail.

“The cases of extortions have increased but the police are doing combing operations. We are arresting the suspects and putting them behind bars. Many are being booked under the National Security Act. Nobody will be spared,” he said.

The Chief Minister said he hoped the new government at the Centre would consider the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the State. He said the base line for the NRC should be 1961 and illegal migrants should be detected and deported. The Manipur government had earlier sent a recommendation to the Centre to implement the NRC.

Mr. Singh said he was expecting the new government to reach out to the people who had been suffering for the past one year with “major peace measures.”

“The armed groups from both communities should be disarmed and immediate peace should be restored,” he said.

After violence erupted in the State on May 3, 2023, more than 4,500 weapons were looted from police armouries.

“Nearly one-third weapons have been recovered,” Mr. Singh said.

Fencing of border

The Chief Minister added that the work to fence the Myanmar border had started. “Fencing work has started on a 21-km stretch, and a survey is on to include another 60 km,” he said.

Earlier in January, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had announced that the free movement regime (FMR) along the Myanmar border was being scrapped and the border would be fenced.

India shares a 1,643 km border with Myanmar which passes through Arunachal Pradesh (520 km), Nagaland (215 km), Manipur (398 km) and Mizoram (510 km).

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