SHILLONG, Oct 25: An official resolution was passed in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) on Thursday urging the Governor, Tathagata Roy to apply the provisions of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 for implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in areas falling under the Council’s jurisdiction.
Accordingly, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District (Inner Line as adapted from the Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873) Regulation Bill, 2018 was also introduced by the KHADC chief Hispreaching Son Shylla during the first day of the two-day special session held on Thursday.
“Now, this House resolves to urge the Governor to apply the provisions of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR), 1873 as adopted and modified in the form of the KHAD (Inner Line as adapted from the Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873) Regulation Bill, 2018,” Shylla said while tabling the resolution in the House.
He said that the BEFR, 1873 being one of the regulations included in the United Khasi-Jaintia Hills District (Application of Laws) Regulation, 1952 which is in force in the KHADC is now adapted in the form of KHAD (The Inner Line) Regulation, 2018.
Stating that an alarming situation has developed arising out of the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam resulting in mass illegal migration, he said, “Apart from this, the unchecked migration of Indian citizens into the Khasi Hills Autonomous District is also posing a grave danger for the ethnics Khasi tribe who are recognized as Scheduled Tribes under the Constitution of India.”
He pointed out that the Constitution of India in Part III pertaining to Fundamental Rights under Article 19 (5) relating to free movement and residence within the territory of India under Article 19 (1) (d) and (e) are limited by Article 19 (5) which has provided for the imposition of reasonable restrictions by the state for the interest of the Scheduled Tribes.
“Under the said Part III, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council under the provision of Article 12 falls within the definition of state,” he said.
The KHADC chief informed the House that the decision to bring both the resolution and the Bill was based on the direction of the state government with regards to a memorandum submitted by the Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) which demanded ILP.
Asserting that the implementation of the ILP is the need of the hour, he said, “Our (Khasi tribals) population is just 16 lakhs and if we don’t protect ourselves no doubt we may be outnumbered if those who are rejected by the Assam’s NRC get to enter our state.”
Shylla said that his executive committee would also soon urge the state government to approve Village and Town Police Bill passed by the KHADC in 1991 considering the fact that the one passed by the JHADC had already got assented.
Meanwhile, the “Inner Line” Bill seeks to prohibit all citizens of India or any class of such citizens from going beyond such line without a pass under the hand and seal of the chief executive member or officer he may authorize to grant such pass.
“Any person so prohibited who after the Inner Line has been prescribed and notified in accordance with Section 2 of this Regulation, goes beyond such line without a pass, shall be liable, on conviction before a magistrate or Court, to imprisonment of either description which may extend to one year or to a fine not exceeding one thousand rupees or both,” it stated.
It also stated that the CEM may authorize the traditional heads (Syiem, Lyngdoh, Sirdar or Wahadadar) the power to “apprehend or arrest” any person found in violation of this Regulation.
“It is necessary to bring out this Regulation to enable the implementation of the Inner Line Permit to check and control rampant migration into the Khasi Hills Autonomous District by legal and constitution provisions,” Shylla said while stating the object and reasons of Bill.
Earlier while participating during the discussion, Independent MDC from Nongshken Grace Mary Kharpuri will affect people who wish to go to Jaintia Hills and other neigbouring North East states by passing through the Khasi Hills Districts.