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Rohingya Muslims sneaking into Manipur: CM

Imphal, December 22 (IANS): Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh told the state assembly on Friday that Rohingya Muslims have started sneaking into the state which has a common border with Myanmar.


Singh was replying to a calling attention motion tabled by Congress member K. Meghachandra.


Singh said: "Police at Moreh border town has arrested one Rohingya Muslim during a routine check. It was learnt that seven of them had sneaked into Manipur and the rest were absconding. A manhunt is on."


Checking has been intensified in the border districts and the police has rounded up some 560 persons of doubtful nationality, the Chief Minister told the House. Of them, 105 undocumented ones were forced back.


A total of 178 undocumented persons were rounded up at Jiribam and unauthorised bamboo bridges used by the migrants were pulled down, Singh said. He appealed to one and all to be "sincere" on the issue.


"All MLAs should conduct a survey in their respective constituencies to establish how many outsiders are there and inform me accordingly," the Chief Minister said.


Meghachandra, who insisted on the introduction of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in Manipur, said: "Activists are threatening to start the ILP agitations again and there should be a time frame to prepare the bills."


New ILP bills would be drafted to protect the indigenous people, Singh assured the House.


He said that the ILP system was already in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.


Underlining the need for the ILP system, Meghachandra said that in 1948 the population of outsiders in Manipur was 2,719. According to the 2001 census, their population increased to 7,40,488 which is higher than the majority community in the state.


The total population of the majority community and the Manipuri Muslims is 9,18,266, the 2001 census said.