Shillong: The demand for a similar kind of exercise which was carried out in Assam through the National Registration of Citizenship (NRC) is gaining momentum in the state of Meghalaya.
Earlier, a number of pressure groups had demanded the State government to implement a similar kind of exercise in the state to identify genuine citizens and ‘illegal’ immigrants. This even prompted the Khasi Student Union (KSU) to set up check points along the National Highway which was later stopped by the police.
In this connection, KHNAM MLA from North Shillong constituency Adelbert Nongrum while speaking to The Sentinel said, “It is high time for the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) to instruct the entire village dorbars and Hima in different parts of Khasi and Jaintia Hills especially in border areas to keep track and vigil on the entry and exit of non-tribal’s into their villages.” He said the non-tribal’s who have been staying in the state of Meghalaya since time memorial should also play an important role in identifying non genuine citizens of the country. Nongrum pointed out that till date the state of Meghalaya does not have any strong laws or mechanism to check influx.
When asked, if a similar kind of exercise is needed to be implemented by the State government to flush out or identify illegal immigrants, he said, “Yes such an exercise is important because the influx of ‘illegal’ immigrants from across the border will eventually have a huge impact on the welfare of the indigenous people of the state.” He said the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government under the leadership of Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma should immediately find a way to deal with this issue to protect the interest of the indigenous people of the state. “If the government fails in this regard then they should take full responsibility,” he said while adding that the government should not only concentrate on the upcoming by-elections however should also take an interest on the welfare of the future generation of the state. Stating that the existing laws in Meghalaya provides no protection to the indigenous people especially when it comes to influx, he said, “There is a need for the voice of the people to continue in demanding the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state.”