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Lanong rejects ILP stand

Shillong, Dec. 7: Former Meghalaya deputy chief minister Bindo M. Lanong today questioned the stand taken by the Centre on the demand for the implementation of the inner-line permit in the state.

“I personally feel it is a game plan of the Congress at the Centre as well as in the state to pre-empt this issue in order to save the embarrassment of the state government,” Lanong told The Telegraph here today.

Lanong’s statement comes in the wake of the announcement made by Union home ministry joint secretary (Northeast) Shambhu Singh that the ILP would not see the light of the day in Meghalaya. “It (the ILP) is archaic and will affect development, besides being unconstitutional,” Singh had said in New Delhi on Thursday.

Singh also said the system could not be imposed where it was not in existence when the Constitution came into being or was revoked thereafter.

To affirm its opposition to the idea of ILP in Meghalaya, the ministry had reportedly written a letter to the state government expressing its reservation on the demand for implementing the system.

The Centre had also said that acceding to the demand for bringing the state under ILP would violate provisions of Article 19 of the Constitution that relates to protection of the rights of freedom.

“The Centre’s statement that ILP cannot be introduced in Meghalaya is indeed shocking on the grounds that in the same region and under the same Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act of 1873, the areas in Meghalaya (Khasi-Jaintia hills and even Garo hills) have the provision for ILP,” Lanong said.

The state government has been maintaining that the act was repealed from the Garo hills in 1897.

Lanong, who headed the high level committee on influx, which recommended the implementation of ILP, also wanted to know the grounds for rejecting the demand.

“For academic interest, we want to know on what ground the Centre took its stand (on the ILP). We would like to know,” the former deputy chief minister said. Referring to the letter written by the ministry to the state government, Lanong said the state government would now take “shelter” under that letter.