ELNCA highlights scourge of influx
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Nov 17: Highlighting the scourge of influx, the Eastern Liangmai Naga Chiefs/Chairmen Association (ELNCA) has urged the State Government to wake up to the situation and do the needful.
Influx of illegal immigrants from Myanmar (Burma), Nepal and Bangladesh which is facilitated by vote bank politics over the last 70 years has led to rampant settlement in Kangpokpi district, according to a statement issued by ELNCA president Ch Karambou.
Over the years, these illegal immigrants have gained a demographic edge over the indigenous communities.
Taking advantage of their numerical strength and demographic dominance, these illegal immigrants are indulging in rampant destruction of forest, encroachment and thus creating land disputes in Liangmai areas, it alleged.
The exponential growth of villages shows that there is a clear case of ‘politics of demographic engineering’ so as to tilt the balance of power against the genuine indigenous Naga minorities, specially the Liangmai community.
Consistent attempts are being made to reduce them to voiceless and invisible minorities in their own lands through systematic and structural manipulation, snatching away their lands, economic and political rights, it alleged.
The Kuki population in 1951 was hardly a few thousands but today their population has exponentially increased to 2.80 lakhs.
In 1972, there were only 27 Kuki villages or hamlets with very few families. Their settlement increased to 84 villages in 2001 and by 2020, the total number of Kuki villages in Kangpokpi had increased to 94. They were allegedly backed by the State politicians and the Kuki UG groups, it alleged.
At present there are two Suspension of Operation (SOO) designated camps of the Kuki undergrounds established by the State Government to check the growth of Kuki militants but it has instead turned out to be a breeding ground for anti-social activities, recruitment and training, free-uncontrolled extortion, free entry, shelter and exit passes for illegal immigrants from across the porous borders, generation of revenues through poppy cultivation, logging business from the virgin forests and ‘jungle raj’, the ELNCA alleged.
It said that Manipur, as a whole, is facing a major problem of immigration. The issue has its roots in the 398 Kms long porous border Manipur shares with Myanmar.
After the military coup in Myanmar in February 2021, thousands of illegal immigrants were brought in and allowed to settle in Kangpokpi district without informing the competent authority, it alleged.
The Government should act on this looming issue. The illegal immigrants who are staying in Kangpokpi district should be identified. Stringent actions should be taken against land grabbing, trespassing and land encroachment. It is time the Government wakes up to the situation and resolve the issue, it asserted.
The ELNCA categorically stated the outlanders and immigrants cannot be placed on equal footing with the indigenous communities of Manipur. The people should cooperate with the Government by not giving shelter to the illegal immigrants.
If the Government fails to act now, Manipur will become another Tripura where the indigenous people are reduced to minorities in their own State, it warned.