SHILLONG, Aug 04: NGOs based in the Garo Hills region of state have asked the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government led by Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma to consider the implementation of an exercise akin to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state.
The demand was made by the leaders of six organizations - Tura Garo Senior Citizens’ Forum (TGSCF), Garo Graduate Union (GGU), Garo Students Union (GSU), Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), All Youth Welfare Organization (AYWO) and the Association for Democracy and Empowerment (ADE).
Earlier, the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) had also demanded for an NRC like exercise in the state following the growing apprehension that over 40 lakh people who were excluded from final draft NRC in Assam may try to enter into the state.
In the joint statement that the NGOs issued, GSU president Tengsak Gabil Momin said, “We demand that the government of Meghalaya initiate the NRC exercise in Meghalaya to detect, deport and detain illegal immigrants and take into account 1971 as the cut-off year.”
He also said that the NGOs will be forced to direct their respective units across the Garo Hills region to actively engage in the detection process if it is perceive that there is a lax in the exercise to detect illegal immigrants by the authorities concerned.
“All the NGOs and Civil Societies’ units are being directed to detect infiltrators and illegal immigrants and we request the people to be alert,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NGOs also warned all non-tribals who enter Garo Hills to have valid evidence of the entrance of their names in the NRC update of Assam.
On the other hand, the leaders said that they are getting reports that three people have been detected at Dalu and five people in Rongjeng and a host of other reports that people with zero documents have been detected by NGOs.
“Therefore, we request the administration of all the districts of Garo Hills to further their efforts because we are sure that there is infiltration on a daily basis into Meghalaya,” they said.
They further urged the government of Meghalaya to intensify the checking for illegal immigrants failing which the NGOs and civil societies will be forced to up the ante on their own in the interest of the people of the state.