SHILLONG, Aug 11: As one part of the comprehensive mechanism against influx into Meghalaya, the state government has approved the draft of the Meghalaya Resident, Safety and Security Rules, 2017 here on Friday.
The draft Rules will be notified on August 14, ahead of the Independence Day celebration, for the implementation of the Meghalaya Resident, Safety and Security Act, 2016 passed by the Assembly last year, as part of the proposed anti-influx comprehensive mechanisms.
“We have approved the draft Rules, which is a culmination of our exercise to implement the Act passed last year, for ensuring a safe and secured environment in the state as promised by us,” Chief Minister, Dr. Mukul Sangma informed after a cabinet meeting held here on Friday.
He also expressed confidence that the implementation of the mandate of the Act will enable the state to address the concerns and challenges which are related to influx and illegal immigration.
“Therefore (with the Rules in place), there will be much better momentum of growth and development because a safe and secure environment is a prerequisite for prosperity of the people,” Dr. Sangma said.
Dr. Sangma further stated that the Act passed by the Meghalaya government will also be examined by other states of the North East region.
“We collectively feel that this Act will definitely be also examined by other states whether it is capable of addressing various concerns particularly the interests of our people regarding the issue illegal immigration and influx,” he said.
“I am sure we can look at sharing our experiences and see similar kind of format can also be utilized by all concerned,” he added.
Foreseeing challenges at the initial stage of implementation, Dr. Sangma said, “But we will see how to deal with certain challenges that we may be confronted by in course of implementation of this Act and look at those hurdles and further address them for its effective implementation.”
He however said that further necessary fine tuning of the Rules may ultimately be required in the days to come as the government proceeds with the implementation.
“I am telling you with utmost confidence that once this Act is enforced, the state will be able to address the concern of illegal immigration and influx in a much more effective way than any other countries which have different models of law to deal with illegal immigration,” he said.
He argued that even the most developed nations who have come up with more stringent laws and various regulations to deter illegal immigration are still trying to find an answer to deal with the challenge of illegal immigration.
On the allegation that the Act would harass the indigenous people of the state, he however said that all the pros and cons have been looked at while keeping in mind all those likely fallouts.
On the role of the traditional heads, Dr. Sangma said that the principal Act itself had indicated and clearly defines the whole involvement of the local authorities.
“The whole role of local authorities has been completely reflected in complete clarity and there is no ambiguity in that,” he said.
The chief minister further pointed out that many localities already have a system in place and the coming up with the Act is more or less looking at the best practice already in place in different localities.