SHILLONG, Oct 04: Accusing the state government of delaying the construction of the entry and exit points in Meghalaya, 13 pro – Inner Line Permit (ILP) groups have threatened to take up this task themselves.
The decision was announced at the sit-in-demonstration organized as part of the groups’ first phase of agitation held at the parking lot near the Additional Secretariat here in the city on Thursday.
Hundreds of activists from the different organizations which include the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) and others participated in the protest.
It may be mentioned here that the proposed setting up of entry and exit points across the state was mandated by the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 passed by the state government as part of the anti-influx comprehensive mechanism.
“We would have no other option but to take upon ourselves the responsibility of setting up our own entry-exit points to prevent influx and illegal immigration into our state,” KSU chief Lambok Starwell Marngar said.
Slamming the government for maintaining what he termed as an “insensitive attitude” on the issue, he said, “Almost all the paper work was done by the previous government and now it is just for the present government to start the construction work.”
Stating that there will be no more talks on the matter, Marngar said that the groups have waited for four long years and yet there has been no sign from the part of the government to set up even a single entry or exit point in the state.
He informed that they had also submitted a memorandum to the chief minister Conrad K Sangma last month demanding the government to speed up the process of setting up the points especially in view of the threat due to the Assam’s NRC.
Of the 41 entry-exit points identified in the different districts of the state, 18 are located in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills region and 23 in the Garo Hills region.
Agreeing with the chief minister that it is not possible for the government to set up all of them in one shot, Marngar however said, “But we strongly demand that the first phase should immediately start at the earliest possible.”
Marngar recalled that the 13 groups decided to withdraw the four-five months ILP agitations in 2013 to pave way for the government to come up with the comprehensive mechanism after it expressed inability to implement the ILP system in the state.
“However this delay will only provoke us to give the government a befitting reply for playing with the interest of the indigenous people of the state,” he said.
Earlier, the state government has decided to revisit the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 with an aim to further strengthen and making it more effective in tackling the issue of influx and illegal immigration.
On this, Marngar however said that the state government should invite the 13 pro-ILP groups to discuss on the matter. “In fact, we do not know whether the Act is effective when it is yet to be implemented in letter and spirit. But if the government has the intention to make it more effective, it should take us into consideration,” he added.