FROM A REPORTER
SHILLONG, July 18: A day before the talks between the Government and the 13 pressure groups that are opposing the railway project due to fear of influx, the Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma gave a sign of what the government has been doing to allay all fears. The meeting with the 13 NGOs spearheaded by the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) is scheduled on Wednesday. It will come after nearly two months of intermittent incidents of arson that followed the attack on the railway project and arrest of more than 25 KSU activists.
Speaking at a foundation stone laying ceremony of Mawpat Community and Rural Block (C&RD) Block, the Chief Minister alluded to the apprehension that the demography will be affected by influx into the State. “The appeal of the government to all those people is to understand that we implement the legislations to address our demography and protect our people and the future generations,” the he said.
“We have legislated the Resident Safety and Regulation Act. Rules are being framed and it will be notified where people coming from outside will filter down depending on the wisdom of the traditiol local dorbar,” Sangma local in his inference to the legislative mechanism ected by his government.
Maintaining that the issue of influx is happening not only in the State, but across the country and even as far as Europe, Sangma reminded that the problem in Meghalaya is also happening because “our own people are also involved in bemi transaction”.
“Many of our Khasi, Jaintia and Garo people are agents of bemi deal,” he stated, adding, “it is for this reason that we have amended the Meghalaya Land Transfer and Regulation Act.”
He further said the amendment is to prevent such people in conniving with non tribals. Categorical in stating that this does not mean that the government and the people are against the non-tribals, the Meghalaya government is taking such steps to deter acquisition of the limited land available and also to maintain the demographic profile of the indigenous people.