India-Myanmar Free Movement Regime suspended, says Biren, appeals people to cooperate to restore normalcy in Manipur

Imphal: The Free Movement Regime with Myanmar which allows people on either side to travel up to 16 km inside the other country is suspended at the moment and that the Centre has been requested to permanently close the agreement in the state.

Chief minister N. Biren Singh said this highlighting the core issues to be dealt in the state, during a press conference held at his secretariat on Saturday.

He said the government has resolved to continue the functioning of the cabinet sub-committee which was formed with minister Letpao Haokip as the chairman to check and identify illegal immigrants coming from outside, with an objective to protect and safeguard the future generation of the indigenous people.

As biometric recording is necessary as preliminary to the National Register of Citizens, the state government has urged the Centre to extend the time for Biometric process by a year in the state, he said adding that it is the first priority.

Highlighting the importance of border fencing to check influx of illegal immigrants, the chief minister said work for fencing along the international boundary by identifying some vulnerable stretches have been awarded to the Border Road Organisation.

Rehabilitation and resettling of displaced persons at their original place, is another priority the Biren said.

Around 700 displaced families in Torbung, some in Sugnu have been resettled in their original localities. The government has to work for the rehabilitation, resettling of displaced persons, construction of prefabricated houses, deployment of security forces in vulnerable areas, but if there is unrest and turmoil in Imphal, how the government is supposed to take up all these works, the chief minister said.

Biren also announced that the ban on internet, imposed as a precautionary measure, will be lifted for the public immediately.

The chief minister said for the past four months, Manipur is in an unfortunate situation, however, with full support of the Centre, cooperation of all sections including media, state government machineries, MLAs and ministers, for the past one month there has been a pause in gunfights and other violent incidents.

It is the police and the security forces that are guarding the state. The pause in gun fights witnessed over the past one or so month is because of proper deployment of security forces in vulnerable areas, he added.

Security forces have also started entering Churachandpur on top of those already there with the support and cooperation of the people of the town, he said, adding that 25 persons have been arrested so far by the police in the district. Altogether 7 cases have been charge-sheeted.

Another serious issue is the missing of youth below 30 years from the society, the chief minister said highlighting the report of “Magnitude of Substance use in India 2019” published by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.

Stating that the finding highlighted in the report regarding prevalence of alcohol use, ganja use, opiods and others in the state is quite alarming and concerning, Biren expressed the need to strengthen the War on Drugs campaign in the state.

The chief minister said a joint committee of the Narcotics Control Bureau and Narcotics and Affairs of Border has been formed to survey and destroy poppy plantations.

During the past two three months, certain splinter groups who don police uniforms and are armed have created an unrest in the society with a series of unwanted incidents like kidnapping, shooting of persons, etc., he added.

He highlighted a few incidents including kidnapping of an engineer from Tingri by unknown armed persons in combat dress, kidnapping of a Kom individual from Imphal West, placing of grenade in at residence for extortion, among others.

The chief minister further lamented distrust and disrespect shown to the government by a section of the society and said it is the government with the support of the public that is facing all the issues in the state. He sought trust in the government and said that the government stands firmly with the commitment against the breaking of Manipur.

Further speaking against the spread of fake news which helps create unrest in the state, he said, “We should be clear on who we are fighting against instead of turning against each other.

We should be very clear that we are fighting against forces which are trying to disintegrate and break Manipur,” he said lamenting that certain organisations formed in localities seem to be dictating unrest.

Steps are being taken up to ensure that there is rule of law in all districts of the state with cooperation of the people, he said.

Airtel’s alleged leakage of internet service in Churachandpur has been found to be true and two employees have been subsequently suspended, he added.

The chief minister appeals all to join hands and stand unitedly including all indigenous communities including the indigenous Kukis brothers and sisters to rebuild the old peaceful Manipur and resettling the displaced families.

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