Sounding the alert at the entry points:
Sensitise the people more
A concern already sounded earlier, but so far nothing much to suggest that this has caught the attention of the numerous civil society organisations in the State. The State Government has done its bit in setting up special police units and sensitising those who are deployed at the entry points of Manipur, such as Jiribam. The question of bigger import is whether just setting up special police units is enough. Shouldn’t there be some sort of a drive to sensitise everyone on the need to keep the entry points of the State under strict check ? Why not go on a publicity drive ? The concern does not stem from any inclination to press the alarm button unnecessarily. This is a point which the State Government and the numerous civil society organisations cannot afford to overlook. It was just a few years back that the State was literally paralysed with the demand that a mechanism be put in place to regulate the inflow of non-locals into the State. One can still recall those days when young school children were coaxed out of their classrooms to brave the water cannons in the middle of the road to demand the enforcement of an Act that can and will regulate the large incursion of non-locals into the State. Churachandpur went up in flames when the then State Government passed three Bills in the Assembly ostensibly to weed out and regulate the entry of non-locals into the State. So intense was the stand of Churachandpur against the three Bills that the last rites of the bodies of the nine people slain in the uproar were not performed for nearly two years before the BJP led Government came to power in the early part of 2017. And remember Sapam Robinhood, the young student, who was killed in the pro-ILP demand in police firing at Imphal. This recent history should be a lesson to all concerned and no gaping holes should be left unattended so that history does not repeat, but so far there is nothing much to suggest that intensified drives have been launched to come face to face with the grim reality of the present against the immediate past.
Over 19 lakhs left out of the National Register of Citizens of Assam, of which the list which was announced on August 31. While there is still a provision where those left out of the list can approach the Foreigners Tribunal within 120 days before they are taken to detention camps, there is no saying what those left out of the NRC would do in the interregnum. This is where strict vigil is needed at all the entry points from the direction of Assam. Such a step will also fall in line with the cause pursued by the JCILPS and other CSOs of the State. Taking cognizance of the likely developments, the Government of Nagaland has sounded the alert bell with Nagaland police keeping strict vigil along the Assam-Nagaland border. This is what is expected from a responsible Government and remember unlike Manipur, Nagaland enjoys the provisions of the Inner Line Permit System. A State which is covered by the ILPS, but which has already pressed the alert button and here is one reason why Manipur needs to be on much more alert than the neighbouring State. This is where the State Government will need to reach out to the people and sensitise them on the need to be on the alert. So far nothing much seems to have been done apart from opening special police cells at the border areas.