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Meghalaya leads unique number list

Shillong, Aug. 27 (PTI): Meghalaya is likely to be the first state in the Northeast, considered a critical region because of illegal infiltration, to roll out the unique identification number cards.

Meghalaya chief minister D.D. Lapang called on Unique Identification Authority (UIDA) chairman Nandan Nilekani in Delhi yesterday and urged him to start the exercise from districts bordering Bangladesh, official sources said here today.

The state shares about 443km of international border with Bangladesh and has been facing problems of infiltration for years, just like neighbouring Assam.

Nilekani told Lapang that he was the first chief minister from the region to approach him but it would take at least 18 months for the UIDA to roll out the unique identification numbers.

Sources said Nilekani would soon be calling on the others chief ministers in a phased manner.

Meghalaya will also have a separate battalion of security forces for deployment in the border area to deal with internal security and act as a second line of defence to the BSF. The battalion will help check infiltration and cross-border terrorism.

This was conveyed to Lapang by Union home minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi yesterday, the sources added.

During his meeting with Chidambaram, Lapang demanded a “peace bonus” to counter militants who are using the state as a sanctuary and transit point, the sources said.

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