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Empower local bodies to check illegal influx: Syiem

The Inner Line Permit is not a cure-all, says PDF leader

SHILLONG: Even as several pressure groups in the state are convinced that implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) is crucial to checking influx, the People’s Democratic Front (PDF) feels that strengthening traditional institutions will lead to the evolution of a far stronger mechanism to prevent influx and illegal immigration.
Interacting with media persons here on Saturday soon after the party’s general conference, PDF chairman Pynshngain N Syiem said strengthening of the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution is necessary to empower traditional institutions, right from the level of Hima down to the Dorbar Shnong, to devolve a strong mechanism to check influx and illegal immigration. 
The former Congress legislator from Mawsynram was reacting to a query as to what the PDF’s agenda was for the upcoming Assembly polls and why was the party silent about the issue of influx.
Moreover, the Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC), a breakaway faction of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), has threatened to campaign against political parties that fail to include the ILP and such other laws intended to prevent rapid influx in their respective electoral manifestos. According to Syiem, while the state government has thrown its weight behind the entry-exit mechanism to deal with the problem, the solution suggested by the PDF will be effective since illegal settlers in the state cannot avoid the Dorbar Shnong.
While pointing out that the idea is not to focus on checking influx at the entrance to the state, Syiem added that immigrants could not illegally settle down if the traditional institutions are empowered.
Asked about PDF’s stand with regard to ILP, the party’s chief ministerial candidate said: “We will have to examine whether implementation of the ILP is effective. If it is we will not hesitate to implement the law if voted to power.” He further informed that the PDF firmly believes that the Sixth Schedule is integral in protecting the interests of the indigenous people.

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