Imphal: Indigenous people are still facing the threat of extinction even though Inner Line Permit System (ILPS) prevails in Manipur, said student leaders who spoke on the of “Realization Day” observance held in Imphal on Sunday.
Like each year, All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) observed the Realization Day or Meekap Thokpa Numit to remember the sacrifices made by two students during the “go back foreigners” movement in 1980.
On April 16 and 17, 1980, two students were killed in the firing by security force personnel in their efforts to control an uprising of the students demanding putting in place a mechanism to regulate entry of migrants into the state. On the occasion, the student body renewed its pledge to fight against any policy infringing the rights, cultures, traditions, heritages and languages of the indigenous people of the region.
After offering floral tributes to the memorial site of the two students at Pishum Chinga in Imphal, a rally was carried out on the streets in Imphal by a large number of students to mark the occasion. The slogan shouting rally converged at Imphal College campus where a public meeting was held with addresses of the present and yesteryear leaders of the students’ body.
AMSU president Haobijam Challamba said that the threat of the existence of the indigenous people of the region still persists. He said that people of mainland India continued to migrate into the region even after the extension of the ILP system in the state. He also said that the ILP has been reduced to a “toothless tiger” as its provisions of the regulation are not translated into action effectively. “The situation will be more dangerous when the train reaches Imphal”, he also said.
Recalling students’ movement against migrants, he said that AMSU has been struggling for the protection of the indigenous people of the region for the last more than four decades and will continue to do so.