| Writing on the wall |
Shillong, Sept. 22: Women’s organisations have now come forward to pressure the Mukul Sangma government to implement the inner-line permit (ILP) regime in the state to check influx while the Congress has reiterated its full support to the chief minister.
Activists of the Khasi Women Welfare and Development Association and the Civil Society Women’s Organisation (CSWO), which are part of the pro-ILP brigade, will stage a demonstration on Wednesday at the parking lot near the additional secretariat building.
“We have decided to stage a sit-in to protest the adamant attitude of the government with regard to the legitimate demand of the various organisations on ILP,” CSWO president Agnes Kharshiing said.
The demonstration is another course taken by the groups to make the government implement ILP in line with what the high level committee on influx had recommended last year.
The Meghalaya United Alliance government, however, had set aside the committee recommendations, reiterating its commitment to put in place other mechanisms to check influx.
Yesterday, the pressure groups had announced the next phase of agitation, which includes a from 8pm-to-5am night road blockade commencing tomorrow that will continue till Friday and a picket of government offices on Thursday and Friday.
Kharshiing said leaders of traditional institutions who were concerned about the welfare of society and land alienation, women’s organisations, youths, religious leaders and others who felt that the adamant attitude of the government was a “wrong sign” that could lead to “dictatorship” had been invited to join the demonstration.
She said, as Article 19 (1) of the Constitution permitted all citizens the right to “assemble peaceably”, the organisations had decided to hold the demonstration from 11am to 3pm on Wednesday.
The Meghalaya PCC has reacted strongly to the criticism meted out to the Sangma government from several quarters amid demands from the Opposition that there should be a leadership change in the state government.
Meghalaya PCC general secretary Polycarp K. Marak, in a statement said the party was committed to address the issue of influx and the measures taken to this effect were “visible”.
“The party assures the people that the government shall put in place a more effective and comprehensive mechanism to address the issue of influx and illegal immigration,” Marak said.