Manipur Boils, ‘Outsiders’ Feel the Heat

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Imphal: Manipur has been tense for over a week now, and has seen one student die in clashes between protestors and the police over implementation of stringent laws against outsiders coming into the state.

What’s playing out in the state though is not a religious divide, atleast on the face of it. Migrant from other states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are facing heat as the locals Meitei community accused them of snatching their livelihood and altering the cultural strait of the state.

Even those like businessman Sanat Bakliwal, whose family moved from Rajasthan to Imphal in 1880s, are feeling the heat. “You see it’s not written anywhere that we have been here for 100 years. So we feel scared too,” says Mr Bakliwal. But in the Imphal valley, the dominant Hindu Meitei community is unmoved. They have been agitating against their land and jobs being taken away by outsiders. Meitei leaders say they are already outnumbered by outsiders in the state.

The chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh has appealed for peace. Mr Singh said, “We hope the protestors will see reason. We are prepared to meet any eventuality. We have put security in place including the Manipur police and CRPF. “Currently the Inner Line permit system, that restricts the entry of outsiders, is in place in the other north-eastern states of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.

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