Shillong, Oct. 15: A high-level committee on influx has unanimously arrived at a consensus to introduce the inner line permit (ILP) in Meghalaya.
Though chief minister Mukul Sangma had a reservation against the system, the meeting appears to have arrived at a consensus.
The committee headed by deputy chief minister Bindo M. Lanong, four cabinet ministers, the three chiefs of the autonomous district councils, three legislators, one representative each from among the traditional heads (nokmas, syiems and dolois), three members from civil society and three representatives from 10 NGOs, met for the second time today at the state secretariat here.
“The committee favours the introduction of the ILP in Meghalaya,” Lanong told reporters.
The committee’s first meeting was held on September 28.
He said while other proposals like the introduction of the three-tier identity card system were put in place, most of the participants favoured the ILP.
Lanong said the next task of the committee was to draft a proposal, which would be sent to the state government.
The committee will meet again on October 30 to draft the proposal, which is likely to be forwarded to the government by November 4.
Lanong said while drafting the proposal, the committee would go into the report of a fact-finding team on ILP, which was constituted in 2000-2001 by the then chief minister E.K. Mawlong.
The team, which consisted of government officials and NGOs, had visited states like Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram to study the implementation of the ILP.
“The report of the team is a very important document which will enlighten us more about the system,” Lanong said.
He said the draft proposal was likely to suggest whether a Meghalaya model of the ILP can be introduced or whether the pattern, which is being followed in other states of the region, would be adopted.
The ILP has been in place in Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873.
Under the system, any Indian citizen, not a resident of these states, needs a permit from the authorities to enter the state.
Asked to comment on Sangma’s apparent dismay over the ILP, Lanong said, “He is a democratic person and I think he will take into consideration the proposal, which is based on consensus. I also think that he has an open mind on the issue.”
Former home minister R.G. Lyngdoh said “isolationism” was not the answer to problems afflicting the state.
“We need information on the problems we face and we should build our capacity to fight,” Lyngdoh, said at a news conference to unveil the Shillong Autumn Festival.