SHILLONG, Jan 10: Fearing that there will be a spillover effect following the updatation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in neighboring Assam, the 13 pro-ILP NGOs have decided to conduct checking of illegal immigrants coming to the state. The move is also a mark of protest against the state government’s failure to implement the anti-influx comprehensive mechanism.
They have decided to conduct surprise checkings, which will begin at any time.
The decision was taken at a meeting held here on Wednesday following the release of the NRC by Assam government with an aim to detect and depot illegal immigrants mainly from Bangladesh.
Mentionably, Meghalaya shares a 900 kilometers long border with Assam.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, KSU chief Lambokstar Marngar said, “We have decided to take our own course of action as we cannot wait for the state government to put in place its comprehensive mechanism in view of the threat arising out of the NRC released in Assam”.
Lambasting the state government for its failure to implement the comprehensive mechanism even after four years, Marngar said the government is yet to implement the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 and its Rules.
“It is also surprising that the government has failed to issue instruction to the respective Deputy Commissioners for constituting of the District Task Force for effective implementation of the Act in the state,” he alleged.
Referring to the Chief Minister’s statement that all DCs have been asked to implement the Act, the KSU leader said, “How will they do it in absence of effective laws to check influx and illegal immigration coming to the state.”
He said the present Congress-led state government has also delayed the setting up of the entry/exit points despite finalizing of land acquisition in many places.
“We demand the government to speed up the setting up of these entry/exit points which will to a great extent help in preventing illegal entry of outsiders,” Marngar said.
Earlier while terming the BJP and RSS as “agents of the devil”, the chief minister Mukul Sangma had also urged the ILP campaigners to stop them from invading the state socially and culturally.
Reacting to this, Marngar said, “Then the chief minister should give us in writing to empower the NGOs to conduct the checking and ensure that the authorities concerned should not come in our way.”
HNYF leader Sadon K Blah said that the statement of the chief minister only indicates that he has accepted that influx is a problem in the state.
He, however, stressed that they are against influx and not against RSS or non-RSS groups.
Meanwhile, Marngar maintained that the 13 NGOs have not abandoned the demand for implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state.
“The demand for ILP will remain but since the government that time (during ILP agitations) expressed its inability to implement the same, we have suggested the present comprehensive mechanism,” he said.
Whether the comprehensive mechanism is more effective than the ILP, Marngar however said, “We cannot say as of now since the government is even yet to implement the comprehensive mechanism till today.”
Expressing distrust on the present government’s commitment towards addressing the issue, the KSU chief said that they are happy to see some of the political parties have included the ILP in their manifestos.
“We as social organizations which have been demanding for ILP hope that these political parties will also fulfill their promises if they are elected to power in the upcoming election,” he said.