NGOs adamant on ILP

By Our Reporter

 

NGO members ahead of the public meeting at Motphran in the city on Friday. (ST)

SHILLONG: Adamant on their demand for implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the State, as many as ten NGOs of the State have accepted the Chief Minister’s invitation for talks on the issue on August 29. They, however, reiterated that the talks should only be restricted to implementation of a strong ILP and no other law.

“We are determined to press the government on ILP and we will not tolerate assurance or recommendations from the government to tackle influx through other mechanisms,” KSU president Daniel Khyriem said.

Addressing the public meeting held at Motphran here on Friday, Khyriem said that they will wait for another 12 days, after which, they will be in a position to announce a series of agitations if the meeting turns out unsatisfactory.

The public meeting was organised in violation of an order issued by East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner to hold the same at Student’s Field, Jaiaw.

The NGOs, however, postponed their scheduled procession, stating that they respect the government’s invitation for talks on the matter.

Terming the State Government as ‘anti-tribal’, the KSU leader said that they have waited 11 long months for the government to take into consideration the recommendations of the High Level Committee (HLC) on Influx.

“We have been patient enough to wait for the appropriate time for the government to consider the recommendations of the HLC constituted especially for this purpose,” he said.

Rejecting the government’s decision to implement the Foreign Law and the Tenancy Act, FKJGP president Joe Marwein said, “We don’t want the government to initiate rules and laws which are inadequate and passed for the benefit for a lesser group”, while adding that some of the laws, though efficient in nature, are twisted and altered to suit some sections.

Referring to the HLC as a ‘sham’, Marwein said that the HLC was constituted solely to cover up the government’s hesitation to implement the ILP.

Stating that they were present at every meeting called by the HLC led by the then Deputy Chief Minister Bindo M Lanong, the FKJGP leader said that none of the ideas and opinions given by the Rangbah Shnong, the Syiem and the NGO leaders were taken into account. “And this is evident from the delay in implementing the recommendations of the HLC,” he asserted.

Marwein also stated that the sudden increase in the population to almost 30 lakh is attributed to the increase in the number of illegal migrants entering the State without any proper verification. “Crime is on the rise and human trafficking has also become a talk amongst many and this is attributed only to influx,” he observed.

On the same note, GSU president Tengsak Momin stressed on the need for the indigenous communities to stand united to fight for a common cause which could ensure the longevity and protection of the tribal communities in the State.

Stating that the people of Garo Hills are ready for ILP, Momin said, “The ball is in our hands and it is up to us to decide the fate of our future generations,” adding, “God will not come down from heaven and kick out all the illegal migrants from our State, it is for us to preserve our land and protect the rights of the tribals.”

“How can the government talk about effective check gates manned by effective officers when it is a known fact that illegal migrants enter our State everyday through the borders?” Momin questioned adding, “When Nagaland and Mizoram are implementing ILP without any problem, then what is stopping our State from doing the same?”

Referring to the current state of affairs in Jaintia Hills, JYF president P Majaw said that the ILP is the order of the day and it is the only mechanism which could prevent the big companies from exploiting the State’s natural resources for their own benefits.

All the ten NGOs have, meanwhile, resolved to resort to agitation all over the State if the government fails to meet their demands and implement the ILP at the earliest.