This is likely to lead to a confrontation with the non-tribal Meitei groups who want the bills to be implemented as soon as possible.

The tribals have said that the three bills were against their interests, though officials have denied this. Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh had earlier said there were no clauses in the bills which were anti-tribal or "will victimise them once these become Acts".

The bills, to which the protestors have taken objection, are Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill, 2015; Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Bill, 2015; and Manipur Shops and Establishments Bill, 2015.

Deputy CM Gaikhangam Gangmei had said that people were "skim-reading the bills and misleading the public" and added that no tribal organisation had pointed out the specific clauses which were being described as anti-tribal.H Mangchinkhup, chief convenor of the Joint Action Committee (JAC), said: "We cannot accept the assurance of the Manipur government that the bills would not hurt tribal interests. Such an assurance should come from the Indian government representative.

"The JAC was formed to spearhead the movement against what they called were anti-tribal Bills.The bills have divided the tribals and the Meitei population in the state. The Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS), a group demanding the enforcement of the three bills, had earlier set December 15 as the deadline for the Manipur government to implement the bills.

 

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