FROM A CORRESPONDENT
SHILLONG, Feb 7: Union Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain had a different take on the issue of influx in the region.
Gohain claimed that the locals marrying Bangladeshi migrants is one of the causes of influx in the region even as he tried to dispel the fear that introduction of railway line in Meghalaya would add to the problem of influx.
Gohain while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Digi Dhan Mela held in the city said that even without railways outsiders are still coming into the state.
The Union Minister of State for Railways was replying to a query on the vexed issue of pressure groups in the state opposing railway line in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills region due to their fear of the indigenous population being overwhelmed by outsiders.
Gohain pointed out that influx is happening even today because the locals are marrying with Bangladeshis.
“If one wants to marry with them (Bangladeshis) no one can stop them,” Gohain said.
The Union Minister of State also pointed out that there is a village in galand where Bangladeshis are in majority.
Gohain while assuaging the fear that railways will encourage outsiders to settle in the state by pointing out that no one from outside the state can buy lands in Meghalaya.
It may be mentioned that the Centre was contemplating two railway projects for Meghalaya– the 22-km Tetelia-Byrnihat tracks and the 108-km Byrnihat-Shillong line.
Pressure groups in the state especially the Khasi Student’s Union (KSU), from time to time have reiterated that it will oppose railways in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills unless the state government took strict measure to combat influx.