Shillong, Aug 1: After Assam published the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) on Wednesday asked the State Government to conduct a similar exercise in Meghalaya.
In this regard, the KSU met Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong.
“The KSU after observing the NRC exercise conducted in Assam which based March 24, 1971 as the cut-off year, wishes to propose to the government of Meghalaya to expedite a similar exercise so that people of doubtful antecedents will be flushed out of the state,” the KSU said.
KSU president, Lambokstarwell Marngar, said that it is a known fact that the first mass migration of outsiders into the regions of the present state of Meghalaya was in 1971 during the Bangladesh Liberation War.
Marngar said that the migrants were mostly refugees of Bengali origin from the then East Pakistan.
“Since then the small state of Meghalaya has been witnessing excessive and unabated influx of migrants from different parts of the South Asian Sub-Continent especially Bangladesh, Nepal and people from mainland India,” the KSU president said.
The KSU also observed that if such a trend continues unchecked, then there is a likelihood that Meghalaya will become like Tripura or Assam whereby indigenous communities are reduced to minorities within their homeland.
The KSU also pointed out that already there are pockets and areas within the state where non-indigenous populations had attain a dominant community status whereas the indigenous communities are reduced to only a handful.
“Therefore, the union once again reiterated its proposal to the state government to conduct an NRC like exercise in the entire state of Meghalaya. If such an exercise is implemented in Meghalaya then it would be able to segregate the genuine and the non-genuine residents of the state and also will contribute immensely to the continuous survival of the indigenous communities of the state,” the KSU said.
The students’ body also proposed 1971 as the cut-off year.
The students’ body however said that the union is always open for discussion with all stakeholders for the interest of the indigenous communities of the state.
Meanwhile, the KSU also expressed their apprehension that while 40 lakh people in Assam failing to find their names in the NRC, they may infiltrate into Meghalaya which shares a 900 kilometer long border with Assam even as the union pointed out to the fact that there is a lack of stringent mechanism to curb and combat the menace of influx.
The KSU also pointed out that as per the Census from 1991 to 2001 the state shows a rise of 29.94 percent in population while from 2001 to 2011 the population growth is 27.95 percent.
“The population growth in Meghalaya from 2001 to 2011 is much higher than the national average of 17.64 percent. It is very much unlikely that indigenous communities are multiplying at such a rate. Thus the rapid increase in the decadal population growth can be attributed to unabated influx of outsiders,” the KSU said.