GUWAHATI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said the implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) was the biggest gift given by the Centre to Manipur since its creation as a state.
“ILP was a long-standing demand of the indigenous people of Manipur. They demanded it for so long that once they forgot it. Prime Minister Narendra Modiji thought denying ILP will be an injustice to the people of Manipur. So, he gave it to the state in December last year. This is the biggest gift given by the Centre to Manipur since it was established as a state,” Shah told people at a programme in Imphal.
ILP is an official document issued to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period. Currently, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur are covered under it.
Shah slammed the Congress for allegedly doing nothing to solve the insurgency problem in Manipur.
“During Congress rule, there was no peace process with the insurgent groups or the surrender of their members and people kept getting killed (in insurgency-related violence). The BJP government has established peace in Manipur,” the Home Minister said.
He said during the past six and half years of Modi government, peace agreements were signed with most groups. “The Northeast was known for insurgency and violence. But now, most groups have laid down arms. I believe the remaining groups, which are outside the purview of peace process, will soon join the mainstream,” Shah said.
“There was a time when Manipur was known for bandhs and blockades. Law and order always used to be in discussions. Modiji had promised to the people of Manipur that bandhs and blockades will be a thing of the past and over the past three years, there was not a single bandh in the state,” Shah said.
Chief Minister N Biren Singhji has given a new identity to Manipur by ridding the state of bandhs and blockades and taking it on the road to development, Shah said.
He appealed to the state’s civil society groups to have faith in the government. He urged them to include Manipur’s development in their charter of demands. He will meet them before flying back to New Delhi later in the day.
The civil society organisations on Saturday said the people of Manipur would not accept any ethnic-based territorial council within Manipur. They said such an arrangement would create more political and ethnic problems in the state. According to media reports, the Centre will set up a territorial council each in Manipur and Arunachal as it tries to solve the protracted Naga political problem.