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State Cabinet nod to residents’ safety & security rules

SHILLONG: Ten months after passing the Meghalaya Residents’ Safety and Security Bill in the Assembly, the state Cabinet on Friday finally approved the rules for the Act to ensure “enhanced security” for citizens by preventing illegal immigrants from taking shelter in the state.
Speaking to mediapersons after approving the rules in the Cabinet, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said the Act and rules would be notified on August 14.
He said the draft rules were deferred by the Cabinet on a few occasions earlier since it wanted factoring of some clauses and points.
Sangma expressed confidence that once the act is in force, the state would be able to address the concerns of illegal immigration more effectively than any other country who have different models of law to deal with immigration. Many of the developing countries like the US and the UK are still grappling with the issue of illegal immigration.
“We are confident that as we implement this law, the state would be able to address the concerns related to illegal immigration and influx besides ensuring a safe and secured environment for citizens,” Sangma told reporters.
Stating that the Act has been designed to accommodate several stakeholders including representatives of different NGOs, Sangma however feared that there might be challenges at the initial stage of implementation of the Act.
He said the government would fine-tune and improve the Act as and when required.
The chief minister also felt that other states of the North East too may examine the Act if it is capable of addressing the concerns of the local people.
Asked if the local people would be subjected to the purview of the Act, Sangma did not give a direct reply but said that the principle Act was a culmination of a long-drawn exercise involving leaders from different NGOs and added that all the pros and cons have been looked at keeping in mind the likely fallout as government would move ahead with the implementation of the Act.
“We will enrich ourselves with experience as to what more is required to be done and if needed, there will be further amendments,” Sangma said.
Replying to queries on the involvement of traditional institutions in the Act, he said the involvement of the traditional institutions has been well defined in the principle Act with complete clarity.
“Many localities have their system in place and the Act would more or less strengthen the practice with fine tuning and mandate of the law,” the chief minister told reporters.

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