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Meghalaya mulls more teeth for influx act

Prestone Tynsong said the proposed amendment will not mean only government mechanism

By PTI in Shillong
  • Published 23.09.19, 12:36 AM
  • Updated 23.09.19, 12:36 AM
  • a min read
Prestone Tynsong Telegraph picture

The Meghalaya government is thinking of adding more teeth to a law enacted in 2016 to check illegal immigration into the state, following the publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong said on Sunday.

The state government will soon hold a consultative meeting with all political parties in the state to discuss on the proposed amendment of the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security (MRSS) Act, 2016, and once agreed, the same may be passed in the form of an ordinance, he said.

“We will soon hold consultations with all political parties as well as legislators for their views and suggestions in this regard,” the deputy chief minister said.

Once the consultation process is completed, Prestone said the government would place the proposed amendments before the state cabinet for its approval.

He added that the proposed amendment may be passed in the form of an ordinance.

According to the deputy chief minister, the state government did not refer the bill to the select committee in the last Assembly session as this will take a lot of time and may have to wait till next year to be re-introduced in the House.

Pressure and student groups have submitted their views and suggestions to the state government on the matter, he said.

Pro inner-line permit (ILP) groups under the banner of the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (CoMSO) have suggested to the government to incorporate provisions of the ILP in the proposed amendment of the MRSSA, to prevent illegal entry and settlement of outsiders.

Students’ groups like the Khasi Students Union and other groups which are demanding implementation of the comprehensive mechanisms have also met the state government.

Tynsong said the different pressure groups have expressed similar opinions that the proposed amendment should be more or less ILP-like mechanism.

“The state government has also agreed to incorporate the provisions of the ILP in the proposed amendment of the MRSSA 2016 to ensure safety and security of the state and its people,” he said.

The deputy chief minister also said the proposed amendment will not mean only government mechanism.

“We also want the traditional institutions to be part and parcel of the act by ensuring that mechanisms at the grassroots level are also put in place,” he said.