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ILP groups to scan anti-influx laws

- Pressure groups meet Meghalaya CM
Leaders of the pressure groups attend a meeting chaired by chief minister Mukul Sangma in Shillong Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos

Shillong, Jan. 15: The “No ILP, no rest” movement, which rocked Meghalaya last year, is likely to simmer down for the time being. The pro-ILP brigade today agreed to examine more than 50 existing laws connected with influx, before embarking on a new course of action.

The decision was taken after representatives from 13 pressure groups met chief minister Mukul Sangma and his team at the secretariat here this morning. The last meeting on the issue was held on August 29 last year, which not only ended in a stalemate but also sparked off a series of agitation.

Emerging from the meeting, which lasted for more than two hours, Khasi Students’ Union president Daniel Khyriem told mediapersons that the groups were still firm on their demand for the implementation of ILP.

“Our demand for the implementation of the ILP still stands. We have sought clarifications from the government as to why the permit regime cannot be implemented in Meghalaya,” he said. He added that the groups have agreed to examine around 52 existing laws connected with the influx issue.

The Federation of Khasi-Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) president Joe Marwein said they spoke about the ILP, which would “affect neither the state’s economy nor tourist flow”.

“We will study the 52 laws and examine whether they are really effective as the government had claimed. After examining those laws, we may incorporate those provisions into the rules for the implementation of the ILP and the same will be proposed to the government,” Hynniewtrep National Youth Front general secretary Sadon K. Blah said.

On whether the agitation would be put on hold, Khyriem said, “It will depend on the clarifications given by the government. If the government gives the clarifications, we will come back for a second meeting and then our future course of action would be decided.”

However, no deadline has been fixed either for the government to provide clarifications on the ILP or for providing the groups with copies of the 52 existing laws.

Government stand: Chief minister Mukul Sangma told reporters today that the meeting was aimed at enabling all concerned to take advantage of this “opportune moment” in view of the “strong political will” demonstrated by the government to address the influx issue.

He said the discussions were held in a very conducive environment and revolved around the need to find a way forward in ultimately coming up with an institutionalised mechanism to tackle influx.

“The discussion elaborately dwelt on the various aspects of ILP in view of the stand of the pressure groups. There was an obvious discussion as to why it (ILP) could not be implemented to address influx,” Sangma said.

While talking about the executive and legislative measures which have already been put in place to take care of the indigenous community as well as maintain the demography within the state, the chief minister said if there was a need, the existing measures could be integrated and even supplemented with other executive or legislative mechanisms.

“The contention of the pressure groups is that it was important to have all the information as to how the decision to implement the ILP in Meghalaya can be justified. They need to have complete clarity on those issues,” he said.

Sangma was also optimistic that through regular engagements “good things will emerge, which can be a win-win situation for us to achieve the actual objective”.

“It is expected that today’s sitting will set the ball rolling and ensure that we have a way forward to achieve this objective. It also sent the message to pressure groups that the government has the political will and determination to address this issue,” he said.


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