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Demand for ILP back in centre stage in Meghalaya

SHILLONG:  Following the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Lok Sabha, the demand for the implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) has once again gained momentum in Meghalaya.

The Chairman of the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO), Samuel Jyrwa while speaking to The Shillong Times asserted that implementation of ILP is the core demand which the organisation has been making for long.

He felt that the ILP should be implemented in all the Northeastern states even as he maintained that right now, the main priority of the organisation was to ensure that the Citizenship Amendment Bill did not see the light of the day

It may be recalled that the state had witnessed a series of protest back in 2014 when a conglomeration of NGOs had demanded implementation of ILP in the state. The period of protest left three people dead in Shillong besides occurrence of several cases of arson.

Following the issue, the then Mukul Sangma-led Government agreed for setting up of a comprehensive mechanism to check influx and started the process of setting up entry and exit points.

However, many years have gone by but the idea of entry and exit point is still in land acquisition stage.

From there, the NGOs from time to time kept on demanding ILP in the state.

However, the demand gained momentum after the Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill despite stiff opposition from the people of the North East as the Bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

The KHADC led by its CEM, HS Shylla had even passed the KHAD (Inner Line as adapted from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1873) Regulation, 2018 to implement the ILP system to curb influx in scheduled areas.

However, the State Government maintained that KHAD (Inner Line as adapted from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873) Regulation, 2018 passed by the District Council on October 26, 2019 is outside the legislative competency of the Council as it does not fall under any of the law-making powers as provided under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India.”

The UDP, an ally in the MDA Government has also asked the State Government to seriously consider the implementation of ILP in the state following Centre’s determined move to get the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) passed in Rajya Sabha.

Meanwhile, following the issue of the CAB, now it is also seen that the personnel of the infiltration department ask for identity card of every single person entering Meghalaya in vehicles which was not the case earlier.

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