Anti-influx groups condemn Meghalaya government's move on entry point at Umling

The groups also sought to know if the government was committed to addressing the influx issue or they should take matters into their own hands.

Anti-influx groups have condemned the state government’s decision to de-sanction construction of the much-awaited entry point at Umling in Ri Bhoi district in Meghalaya.

“Such a blatant act depicted the insincerity of the state government in solving the complex influx issue which had been plaguing the state even before its inception,” said a joint statement of the seven organisations--KSU, GSU, FKJGP, HNYF, AYWO, RBYF and ADE -- on Friday.

Expressing resentment and anguish at this sudden U-turn, the  organisations have also demanded immediate explanation as to why the approval for the entry point, which according to them is vital as it is the gateway to the state, has been withdrawn.

The decision came to light after a letter was issued by the Under Secretary to the Tourism department, T Lyngdoh, on September 29.

The  organisations then said that time and again they have demanded a time frame for completion of the entry and exit points, especially those included in the first phase, from the government.

They said the government seemed to be dilly-dallying and was not giving a clear picture on the contentious issue and suddenly out of the blue, it took the step. The  organisations  wondered if this was a precursor to doing away with all the proposed entry and exit points in the state.

The groups also sought to know if the government was committed to addressing the influx issue or they should take matters into their own hands. 

“Because if this is the situation then the  organisations  will be compelled to react so as to ensure that the microscopic indigenous communities are not engulfed by major immigrant communities,” the statement warned.  

They also reminded that the entry-exit points were mandatory under the Meghalaya Residents' Safety and Security Act 2016, which was passed after prolonged and thorough negotiations and deliberations by the successive governments led by Dr Mukul Sangma and the present government led by Conrad K Sangma.

The Act seeks to regulate and monitor the entry and exit of outsiders into the state before the Centre's nod to implement the much demanded Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1873 or ILP, which is a prime demand of the NGOs dating back to as early as 1985.

Similarly the MRSSA also as per the rules will prevent and detect illegal entry and settlement of outsiders inside the already affected state of Meghalaya through massive immigration since 1971. It also penalises violators.

Meanwhile, the organisations also wanted to know the status of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) resolution adopted by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on December 19 last year while asking if talks were on with the central government since the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, in his meeting held with a government delegation had categorically stated that things would be resolved after Christmas.

Finally the  organisations warned that they had been patient for a long time, and the time has now come for them to adopt stringent measures to counter the unabated influx in the state.

First Published:Oct. 2, 2020, 10:02 p.m.

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