Meghalaya organisations demand permit system for visitors

September 3rd, 2012 - 6:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, Sep 3 (IANS) Several social organisations in Meghalaya Monday staged a sit-in, demanding immediate implementation of inner line permit (ILP) to restrict entry of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants to the state.

The demand for the system, present in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram, comes in the wake of the clashes between Bodos and migrant Muslims in Assam as the organisations contended the situation in Meghalaya might go out of control given its proximity to Bangladesh and Assam.

The organisations also demanded from the government to adopt a resolution for implementation of ILP in Meghalaya during the three-day assembly session starting Sep 5.

“The problem of influx has been plaguing the state for three decades and if the government is seriously concerned with the issue, they should implement the ILP in the state,” said Joe Mar, working president of the Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP).

“The Manipur assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution to implement the ILP to curb influx. Our legislators in Meghalaya should press the government to implement the inner line permit,” he said.

The Manipur assembly July 13 adopted a resolution urging the central government to extend the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 to the state to check the influx of suspected Bangladeshi and Myanmarese nationals.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who had earlier admitted that the entry of illegal immigrants into the state was alarming, said the state would have a “more stringent institutionalised mechanism” than the ILP.

“When I visited certain parts of the state, I could see that the local indigenous people have been outnumbered by the people from outside the state,” he said.

Though, the organisations welcomed Sangma’s proposal to implement a “strong mechanism” to curb the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, they strongly felt that the ILP should be first implemented.

“The chief minister has been talking about implementing the “strong mechanism” since October last year. If he is serious on the issue, he should first implement our demand to protect Meghalaya from being swamped by illegal immigrants,” Khasi Students’ Union supremo Daniel Khyriem said.

He said the implementation of the inner line permit would help protect the tribal population from being “annihilated” in their own land.

Khyriem, who is leading the most powerful students’ body in the state, also demanded said the organisations are also demanding scrapping of the India-Nepal Treaty of Friendship, which, he claims, is only helping the illegal immigrants.

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