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Plea for ILP to check influx

Shillong, March 3: Thirteen pressure groups today decided to draft points to be submitted to the Meghalaya government to implement inner-line permit (ILP) which is specific to local conditions and has “strong teeth” to check influx. At the same time, it will not affect tourism and development in the state.

“Our demand for ILP still stands and we will draft points and send to the government to implement the permit system,” Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), president Joe Marwein told reporters after a meeting at the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) office here.

The ILP, to restrict entry of outsiders into the state, is in place in Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. The system comes under the provisions of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 restricting the entry of any Indian citizen who is not a resident of these states. The pressure groups, however, said the ILP that should be implemented in Meghalaya is different from the ILP being implemented in Mizoram, Aruanchal Pradesh and Nagaland.

“We are demanding for the implementation of ILP which will not affect tourism and development but which can tackle the problem of influx,” Marwein said.

KSU president Daniel Khyriem said the demand of the pressure groups for ILP did not change and the ILP to be implemented should have “strong teeth” as far as protecting the local indigenous people of the state is concerned. Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) general secretary, Sadon K. Blah said the pressure groups would draft points to be submitted to the government to frame rules for implementing ILP in the state, which is specific to local conditions.

To a question if the pressure groups are now in favour of a “modified” ILP which no longer within the purview of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1873, Blah said it was for the government to decide if the ILP should come within or outside the regulation. “We leave to the wisdom of the state government which has enough expertise who can frame rules for the implementation of ILP whether within or outside the purview of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873,” Blah said.

On the 52 existing laws related to checking influx that the pressure groups would study, they said the existing laws should be further strengthened and should be implemented effectively.

“Relevant sections of these existing laws should be also used to support the model of ILP that should be implemented in the state,” he added.

The pressure groups would soon seek appointment with the state government to submit the points they have drafted on the need to implement ILP in the state.