SHILLONG, Jan 10: The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) on Wednesday expressed fear that Meghalaya will become the first victim where suspected illegal immigrants who got rejected from the NRC in Assam would try to find their way into the hill state.
“Meghalaya will be the first victim since it has zero laws to prevent influx of immigrants from entering into the state,” HYC general secretary Robertjune Kharjahrin told reporters here on Wednesday.
He said states like Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram have already implemented the Inner Line Permit (ILP) and now Manipur has also maintained high alert after the National Register of Citizens was released by the Assam government.
Stating that the state will be a soft target, Kharjahrin said this is because here in Meghalaya there is completely no mechanism to check on illegal influx settling in the state.
“But it is only our state which is still sleeping as the proposed entry/exit points which is as part of the anti-influx comprehensive mechanism is even yet to see the light of day,” he added.
The HYC general secretary also said that another threat that is awaiting the state is the move to resume the construction of the railway line in Ri Bhoi despite the absence of effective laws to check influx and illegal immigration into the state.
With railway being the cheapest mode of transport, Kharjahrin said this will no doubt facilitate influx and illegal immigration into the state.
“We therefore demand the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) to immediately stop the construction work until the time that effective laws are put in place by the state government,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the HYC said taking into the account these threats, the state government should immediately consider implementing the Inner Liner Permit and other anti-influx laws proposed by the Council.
“ILP is the only way to address this issue of mass influx of immigrants to Meghalaya as a spillover effect of the NRC in neigbouring Assam and influx that will come from such railway projects,” he said.
Kharjahrin also warned the agents of political parties not to take advantage of the situation arising out of the NRC for boosting their political vote banks.
“The political agents should refrain from such attempts by helping illegal immigrants get enrolled in the electoral roll of the state and Aadhaar card,” he said while urging the traditional dorbars and other NGOs to act as watch dogs.
He also appealed to some political parties who are in favour of trains carrying good to be practical in their thinking.
“We request them to be practical as we cannot protect the state from influx in absence of strong laws like the ILP,” Kharjahrin said.