SHILLONG: Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports Kiren Rijiju was greeted with protests from groups supporting the 'Inner Line Permit' (ILP) in Meghalaya on January 4. The groups were protesting against the Centre's delay to implement the ILP system in the State. The Union Minister had visited the Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre at the North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) campus and inaugurated the synthetic athletic track and football ground at the centre in the campus of NEHU (North East Hill University) here on Monday.
Activists of the Khasi Students' Union (KSU) displayed placards during Rijiju's visit to the centre. The placards read: 'Government of India implement ILP in our State immediately', 'Delaying of implementation of ILP in Meghalaya is just a political injustice', 'We reject CAA, but we accept ILP' and 'How long will the Government of India take to complete its study about the resolution of ILP?'.
Reacting to this, Rijiju told media persons that the issue of ILP requires a political decision; and that the Central government is very sensitive to the need of the North East.
Meanwhile, KSU vice president Biangbor Paliar said that the students' union has decided to protest the visits by all Central Ministers to the State as long as the Centre fails to implement ILP in the State. ''Protest is part of democracy, demand can be made, how it can be solved? You will require discussion; but I cannot comment on the subject directly because I am not dealing with this matter right now. So it is difficult to go into the subject," Rijiju told reporters. He recalled, ''When I was in the Home Ministry, we did many things to ensure that peace and tranquility are maintained in the North East.''
Assuring that that the Central government is very sensitive towards the needs of the Northeast people including their ethnicity and identity, he added, ''What I can say is that for protection of the indigenous language, culture, tradition, social practice, heritage… everything is being done by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modiji and his government. This government is very sensitive to the needs of the people of NE including the ethnicity and identity," he said.
The ILP is an obligatory official document issued by the State government concerned to allow inward travel of a person into a protected area for a limited period. (Agencies)