SHILLONG, April 17: Serving the Meghalaya government a deadline, the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) has warned of a series of agitations if the setting up of entry – exit points to check influx is not completed by the month of May.
The FKJGP, which is one of the 13 NGOs spearheading the demand for implementation of the comprehensive mechanism to check inflow of influx and illegal immigration into the state had dediced to serve the government this deadline during a meeting of the Federation’s central executive committee which was held here on Wednesday.
“We will have no option but to launch agitations if the state government fails to set up the entry-exit points by May,” FKJGP chief Wellberth Rani informed after the meeting.
Stating that they have been patient enough with the state government, Rani said, “The Federation will also consult with the leaders of the other NGOs on the need to take a collective decision on the matter.”
Rani opines that the people in power have been making tall claims about the commitment of the government on the issue and yet did nothing to ensure such mechanisms are put in place to protect the indigenous community of the state.
Asked whether the Federation would to revive the demand for implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system, Rani said, “If the government remains adamant, we would surely agitate because justice delay is justice denied.”
“Setting up of the entry-exit point is the most important development the government can offer for the protection of its people,” he added.
The general secretary of the Federation Dundee C Khongsit admitted that the construction of the required infrastructures for the entry-exit point would take time to complete and said that the government can start utilizing the existing manpower to regulate entry of outsiders.
Khongsit further informed that a delegation of the federation will also soon meet the Minister in-charge of Labour department for his intervention in the need to implement the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Amendment Act, 2011 in letter and spirit.
“This is to prevent inter-state labourers from getting to enter the electoral rolls of the state,” he said while lamenting that the government has failed to increase the manpower of the labour department citing financial crisis.
Adding to this, Rani said the government should keep in mind that the labour department is not for generating revenue but for protecting the state even as he emphasized the need to have labour inspectors in all the districts to detect illegal labourers in the state.
On the issue of unemployment in the state, Rani said that the Federation has constituted an expert team to find the number of vacant posts in the various government departments. “This is because there has been a delay in advertising such vacant posts in the MPSC and DSCs. So this expert team will find out and ask the government to take necessary action,” he said while adding, “The reasons for rising crimes including drug trafficking can also be attributed to the growing unemployment problem in the state,”
He said that the Federation will also demand that the state government relaxes the upper age limit up to 35 years for indigenous people of the state to be eligible to apply for government jobs. “We are also proposing to hold a big rally to discuss on the unemployment problem,” Rani said.
The Federation also slammed the state government while accusing it of failing to support the farmers who according to them have also become unemployed.
Meanwhile, the FKJGP is also set to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The celebration will be inaugurated on May 6 by cabinet minister AL Hek, who is also the former general secretary of the Federation.