Manipur CM Biren Singh | File photo

Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on October 16 said the state is facing a heavy influx of people from Bangladesh and Myanmar and appealed to the people to extend support and cooperation in identifying illegal immigrants who are staying by violating the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system.

Briefing media persons at the chief minister’s secretariat in Imphal, N Biren Singh said the issue has reached an “alarming stage” and the government is seeking the cooperation and support of the people.

He urged the people to inform the police or district administration when they spot any illegal immigrant.

He said with the setting up of the population commission in the state a house-to-house survey will be conducted soon and appealed to all against renting out rooms or selling land to illegal foreigners, immigrants. The chief minister said legal action could be taken against any house owner found renting out or housing illegal foreigners.

The chief minister said the government has also already announced 1961 as the base year for the ILP act.

The government will soon launch its mechanism to trace foreigners by using face recognition cameras and apps to regulate entry and exit, Biren Singh said an operation was launched to identify individuals who have entered the state and remained untraceable for a certain period of time.

The chief minister said till October 15, in the operation against ILP defaulters, the government has identified and arrested around 613 violators and they have been booked accordingly. Some of them have been deported. The main worry is that most of these violators are from Bangladesh and Myanmar, the chief minister added.

Stating that the government alone can never succeed without the support of the general public, the chief minister said the success witnessed in the government’s ‘war on drugs’ and ‘campaign against poppy plantation’ is because of the support and cooperation of the public.

CM Biren Singh said the indigenous people of Manipur have small population and highlighted the apprehension that it wouldn’t be long before the illegal immigrants/ migrants, foreigners outnumber the indigenous population. He added that understanding the gravity of the situation, prime minister Narendra Modi gave the state the Inner Line Permit system.

“We are facing various hindrances in identifying these illegal foreigners,” the chief minister said citing the story of an individual who entered India from Bangladesh through the Malda district of West Bengal and sneaked into Manipur in 1990 without any valid papers, according to the man’s own admission to the police after his arrest on October 7 from Khabeishoi.

CM Biren Singh said the man has acquired a driving license and Aadhaar card from the state. He added that all the documents have been seized and a case lodged.

“However, the main concern is how many illegal foreigners must have already infiltrated into our communities,” he said, adding that the man who entered the state in 1990 was arrested only in 2022.

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