Demanding the exercise of National Register of Citizens (NRC) and establishment of Manipur Population Commission in Manipur, various valley-based student bodies tried to storm the CM Bungalow and Raj Bhawan in Imphal on Monday.
However, police personnel confronted the agitating students at the Babupara traffic junction and prevented them from pursuing towards the CM Bungalow. Similarly, the agitating students, while trying to throng at Raj Bhawan, were confronted by the police and diverted towards Keishampat Junction.
During the confrontation, huge traffic congestions were witnessed at the streets along CM Bungalow and Raj Bhawan for nearly half an hour. Fortunately, there was no report of any injuries or use of violence means during the confrontation from both the police and agitating side.
The protestors chanted slogans such as, “We want NRC”; “We want Manipur Population Commission,”; “Scrutinise the illegal immigrants”; “We oppose unauthorised emergence of new village”; and “Protect the reserved and protected forest areas,” among others.
The agitating student bodies included Apunba Ireipakki Maheiroi Singpang Lup (AIMS), Democratic Students' Alliance of Manipur (DESAM), Kangleipak Students' Association (KSA), Manipuri Students' Federation (MSF) and Students Union of Kangleipak (SUK) among others.
Speaking to the media, president of DESAM, Lamyanba, informed that the population growth in Imphal region was only 17 per cent in the 2011 census report while the country’s average population growth was 20 per cent. However, the population growth in Imphal suddenly escalated to 38 per cent, he said, terming it unnatural and added that many unauthorised new villages had immersed in the past few years encroaching the reserved and protected forest.
Considering the fact, there is a big apprehension among the indigenous population of being swamped by immigrants threatening their ethnic identity due to demographic invasion, he said, adding it is unfortunate that the state government is remaining a silent spectator in this big threat.
Stressing the need for immediate intervention to scrutinise the immigrants timely and save the indigenous from being a minority, he said, “Indigenous will extinct from Manipur in the very near future if we remain still”.
Recalling the approval of exercising NRC and establishment of a state population commission by the state cabinet, the president drew the attention of the state government to convert its cabinet decision into action.