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MTDF asks pro-ILP activists to reconsider agitation move

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: Asserting that in today’s modern and dynamic world, bandhs, road blockades and picketing are major deterrents impacting the socio-economic development of the State, the Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum (MTDF) has appealed to the pressure groups to reconsider their mode of protest and agitation with regards to their demand for implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the State.

“Tourism is one of the few sectors, besides agriculture and education, that can contribute significantly to inclusive growth and overall development of the State’s economy and it very crucial that normal life remains unaffected for the welfare of the State,” MTDF general secretary Ian Khongmen said in a statement on Monday.

According to the MTDF, in a State where more than 50 per cent of the population is below the age of 25, it is very important that various sectors of the economy are developed in the next few years in order to create opportunities for employment.

“The MTDF believes that the price of crippling the local economy at this critical juncture far outweighs any demand or issue affecting the State today,” Khongmen said, while adding that Meghalaya cannot afford to not adopt measures and make rapid strides towards economic development ‘if we are to provide means of livelihood and employment for our youth tomorrow’.

He also pointed out that bandhs, road blockades and picketing are means of agitation that are no longer in vogue in the modern societies across the nation and the globe.

“It is important to note that the Assembly elections were held barely six months ago and the ILP demand was not adopted by any of the major political parties as an election issue. However, with the District Council and Lok Sabha elections round the corner, perhaps these issues may be taken up by the various political parties backing the cause,” the MTDF added.

“If the proponents of the ILP think that the current anti-infiltration gate at Byrnihat has failed in its purpose to check influx, then what reason do we have to believe that the ILP check gate at the same place can achieve otherwise?” Khongmen questioned.

“We feel that the ILP is a deterrent to economic development of all the North Eastern states and it shall become a stumbling block to the global attitude of sharing of professional and technical knowledge which our State so badly requires in our quest to be at par with other states of mainland India,” he asserted.

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