Coming together of COCOMI, UNCIllegal immigrants

Taking up steps to check illegal immigration to Manipur. This itself is news worthy but top this with the information that the Co-ordination Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) and the United Naga Council (UNC) have decided to come together to jointly take up the task, and here is a story that merited top billings. This was what The Sangai Express did and one hopes that the coming together of the two CSOs spreads to other avenues too. Likewise one hopes that such joint efforts are taken up to deal with the myriad of issues besieging Manipur at the moment. At the moment, the question of ‘foreigner’ pitted against the ‘native or indigenous’ is hot news, thanks to the recent statement passed by the Chief Minister against a certain gentleman, who presently is cooling his heels in police custody. One also hopes that the State Government give due importance to the joint memorandum submitted by COCOMI and UNC to the Chief Minister recently and give undivided attention to the call to adopt the National Register of Citizens which can go a long way in weeding out those who have been staying illegally in Manipur. The sooner the exercise to identify the aliens is taken up the better it would be for everyone, for remember over a period of time the foreigners getting localised to such an extent that it becomes difficult to weed them out is a truism. Again remember there have been conflicting claims over places such as Thangjing Hill and a little earlier over Mount Koubru, which is deemed to be a holy site for some indigenous people of Manipur, such as the Meiteis and the Liangmais. The Government will also need to study inflow of people after the coup at Myanmar at the border areas. The Government of India has made it clear that asylum should not be granted to those fleeing the neighbouring country, but the reality is many have fled into the neighbouring country and Mizoram has been forthright in opening camps to house the migrants and keep a tab on their movement. How about Manipur ? Wouldn’t opening relief camps and monitoring the movement of the people from across the border be more practical and sensible ? Mark them, identify them and monitor their movement so that they do not mingle with the local crowd to later be merged with the local population. This can be the approach of the State Government.
Intrinsic in the call to tackle illegal immigration into Manipur is the call to protect the interests of the indigenous folks. This is the bottomline. Illegal immigrants entering the State, merging with one local group and later claiming the ancestral places of the natives, is a distinct possibility that cannot be written off that easily and this is where the decision of COCOMI and UNC to come together becomes all that more significant. The issue here is real, very real and one hopes that the State Government has taken note of the significance in the decision of the UNC and the COCOMI to come together and launch some sort of a drive. Interesting to note too that it is the perceived threat from non-locals which has brought the UNC and COCOMI together, one batting for a Greater Lim and the other batting for the territorial sanctity of Manipur. How the two manage to proceed to work together on other issues remains to be seen, but nevertheless a beginning has been made. One hopes this is just the beginning and there will be more to come in the near future. Manipur is never short of issues and when the people of the hills and the valley area come together, no force on earth will be able to stop them. Manipur too can move forward when every section of society join hands together and work for the interest of the place and the people. And checking illegal immigration is definitely for the good of the place and her people. There should be no two ways about it here.