Those who arrived and established their residence in Manipur after 1961, irrespective of their caste or community, would be deported as part of the implementation of the Inner Line Permit, said Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday, reported The Times of India.

The Inner Line Permit is a travel document Indian citizens need for short stays in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur. The system aims to keep local populations shielded from large-scale migration.

In June 2022, the Manipur Cabinet adopted 1961 as the base year for determining who could be given native status under the Inner Line Permit system.

"We are passing through troubled times,” the Manipur chief minister said at an event on Monday, reported PTI. “The crisis we are facing today is one of struggle for existence, survival, and identity. The properties and identity, inherited over centuries, have now become insecure due to the lack of vision of certain politicians.”

Singh said that the current generation is insecure and hence the government was working to make their futures secure.

The chief minister, who belongs to the majority Meitei community, and the Central government have on multiple occasions held migrants from neighbouring Myanmar responsible for ethnic violence in the state that began last year.

Manipur has been gripped by ethnic clashes between the Meitei and Kuki communities since early May. Over 200 people have been killed since the conflict broke out and nearly 67,000 persons have been forced to flee their homes.

The Inner Line Permit system was re-introduced in Manipur in December 2019 amid protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

The Act provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the condition that they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.

In the North East, the law led to renewed anxieties that a large number of Bengali-speaking migrants from Bangladesh may overwhelm communities defined as indigenous to the region.

To address these concerns, the Centre had introduced geographical exemptions in the Citizenship Amendment Bill for tribal-dominated Sixth Schedule and Inner Line Permit areas. It also extended the Inner Line Permit regime to the state of Manipur and Dimapur in Nagaland overnight.

Last week, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs also recommended the immediate suspension of India’s free movement regime with Myanmar.

The free movement regime, which has been in place since the 1970s, allows visa-free movement for people living within 16 kms on either side of India and Myanmar’s shared, largely unfenced, 1,643-km-long border along Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.