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Modified ILP proposal in Meghalaya

Shillong, April 29: Thirteen pressure groups seeking implementation of inner-line permit today proposed a technology-driven “modified” ILP in line with the spirit of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873, to combat and regulate influx into the state.

The Mukul Sangma-led government has expressed its readiness to give shape to the suggestions.

The groups made the proposal at a meeting with the Meghalaya government chaired by chief minister Mukul Sangma in the presence of other cabinet ministers and officials at the state secretariat here.

The pressure groups said they put forward suggestions for putting in place a mechanism similar to but different from the inner-line permit existing in the states in the Northeast which are implementing the system.

The proposed modified ILP is different from the earlier demand to implement the permit regime under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873. “We have submitted at least 10 points to the government to structure a mechanism in line with the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873, but better than the existing ILP,” the president of Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People, Joe Marwein, told reporters after the meeting.

The general secretary of Hynńiewtrep National Youth Front, Sadon K. Blah, said the proposed ILP was different from the existing one. According to the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873, there should be a liaison office and liaison officers to issue the permit. The proposed model suggests spot entry permission at check-counters.

“These counters should be equipped with modern facilities like computers manned by professionals for devising data feedback on visitors and for communicating between the anti-infiltration counters of the state at the entry and exit points. Receipts issued from check-counters should clearly state the purpose of visit of every visitor,” he said and added that the proposed comprehensive mechanism was within the ambit of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873.

The pressure groups have also proposed some of the venues for setting up of checkgates — Byrnihat in Ri Bhoi district, Ratacherra in East Jaintia Hills and other places in Khasi and Jaintia hills region, and Dainadubi and other places in Garo hills region. The pressure groups also proposed measures to check and detect people indulging in benami (illegal) transaction either in business or land.

Welcoming the suggestions, Sangma said, “Most of the suggestions put forward by the 13 pressure groups can be structured in a comprehensive mechanism to address the issue of illegal immigration.”

He said the government would structure and give shape to the suggestions in a manner which can be implemented without coming into conflict with any existing law passed by Parliament or any provision enshrined in the Constitution with respect to the fundamental rights.

The pressure groups had called a series of agitation last year to put pressure on the state government to implement ILP in the state. The government had filed a damage suit against the leaders of the pressure groups for calling the agitation, which had led to loss of lives and property.

In Arunachal Pradesh, the All Nyishi Students Union and the All Papum Pare District Students’ Union urged the state government to strictly check the ILP permits of people visiting the state capital, Itanagar, by train, which was introduced recently, says PTI. They also demanded job quota in NF Railway for indigenous people of the state and construction of multipurpose bridge over the Dikrong between Doimukh and Tigdo by the railway department.

The student unions jointly submitted a memorandum to chief secretary Ramesh Negi.


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