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PAP Gone, Manipur To Monitor

IMPHAL, Jan 10: With the Centre lifting the Protected Area Permit (PAP) from Manipur for one year, the government has taken up necessary measures to monitor the inflow and movement of foreigners in the state.

In its order dated December 30 last year, the home ministry (foreigners division) excluded the entire area of Manipur from the protected area regime notified under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) orders 1958 for one year, with effect from the beginning of this year.

Citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals having their origin in these countries would, however, continue to require prior approval of the home ministry before their visit to Manipur. A notification issued by the state home department a few days ago said that in order to monitor the movement of foreigners in Manipur, check posts are to be established at entry points-Imphal airport, Mao in Senapati along National Highway 39 and Jiribam sub-division bordering Assam along NH 53.

Certain formalities including passport, visa, purpose of visit, duration of visit, date and time of arrival and departure, place of state and details of local contact including telephone numbers are to be recorded for every foreign national entering the state at all the check posts, added the notification.

This action is to be taken by the superintendent of police (CID/SB), who has been designated as Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) of the state.

The December 30 order said all foreigners visiting Manipur will register themselves with the FRO of the state within 24 hours of their arrival.

Meanwhile, hordes of travel agencies, hotel owners and handloom and handicraft unit owners in strife-torn Manipur have expressed happiness over the lifting of PAP, saying that this heralds a new phase of development in the tourism industry. A week before the PAP was lifted, a global online signature campaign initiated by the Manipur Association for Canada against it was held with support from the self-explanatory Local Support Group in Removal of PAP (LOSGRO) Manipur.

(Courtesy: TNN)

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