TURA, Oct 31: The Association of Democracy and Empowerment (ADE) has written to the CEM of GHADC, Dipul Marak, seeking the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in an effort to combat influx in the Garo Hills region. The demand for ILP comes in the wake of a similar legislation passed by the KHADC recently.
“Many parts of the GHADC bordering Assam and Bangladesh, the local people have become minority. Migrants and non tribal have become the deciding factor even in the process of selecting MLAs. If this continues at the same pace it’s going to create havoc in the demographic pattern of the state,” said president, Dalseng B Ch Momin.
Meghalaya shares a 443 km border with the state of Bangladesh which according to the NGO is already jostling for space.
“Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the Northeast conceded that the Northeast has been destabilized due to the influx from Bangladesh,” he added.
The NGO leader stated that NRC in Assam has added fuel to the fire. We strongly believe that it may lead to demographical imbalance as those who are not able to get their names in the list will try to infiltrate the border areas. The huge population, almost 40 lakhs, could create an unthinkable disorder in the prevailing system of our century old social structure,” said the NGO.
Hitting out at the state government over no concrete steps to check influx, the NGO said, “Instead of ILP, previous government promised that a comprehensive mechanism to check influx would be set up. However nothing concrete has been done yet on the ground. Even the marking of entry exit points, creation of facilitation centers, deployment of checking authorities has not been provided.”
The NGO blamed the government for trying to subdue voices whenever it was raised on ILP Implementation. “People, all over Meghalaya, want the government to do something concrete to safeguard the interests of the ethnic people. They say ILP will hinder in the path of globalization and development, but what’s the use of that development when we ourselves can’t harvest the fruit of it,” they asked.
The NGO felt that the argument that ILP would strangle trade did not hold water. “ILP does not say that businessmen can’t come for trade and other activities into ILP implemented areas. They simply have to obtain permit, register themselves and go back when their business is complete. They simply will not be accepted as permanent residents,” added the NGO.
Applauding the step taken by the KHADC, the NGO asked the Garo Hills District Council to also initiate some supporting measures for securing the sovereignty of the ethnic people of the Garo Hills region.