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(By Ibankyntiew Mawrie)
Congress MLA Mayralborn Syiem on Thursday demanded assurance from the state government on the setting up of a permanent entry-exit facilitation centre at Umling and other areas across the state, to check influx and illegal immigrants.
Raising a short duration discussion of the construction of entry-exit points in the state during the fifth day of the Meghalaya Assembly Autumn Session, Syiem also demanded the implementation of Inner-Line Permit (ILP) to protect the indigenous communities of Meghalaya
“Give us ILP because this is important for us,” Syiem said.
Umroi MLA George B Lyngdoh, who is the son of former chief minister E.K Mawlong, added, “What is the status of ILP and what is the mind of the union government on the resolution that we had passed? When would the inclusion of state under ILP fructify?”
To understand the ILP, it is a travel document required by people outside the state to visit a particular state. Currently, the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram have the implementation of ILP, with the Centre extending the same to Manipur in December last year following its implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Congress MLA Kimfa S Marbaniang also joined into the discussion and said that the government has not been able to impress the Centre on the need for ILP and neither was it able to fully implement the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act (MRSSA).
The MRSSA is 2016 act which was passed by the MDA government to check illegal immigration in the state whereby landlords had to register tenants and inform the local heads. The government had also moved an amendment for the same in 2019, making it applicable to everyone visiting the state, including tourists, labourers, students or for people entering for business purposes.
In October this year, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) had passed a resolution urging the Conrad-led MDA government to ensure the implementation of the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act (MRSSA).
Broadening the discussion on entry-exit points, Congress MLA P.T Sawkmie stated that focus should be laid on Umling area of Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya as there is a huge flow of immigrants through the area.
“We also have to focus on Mendipathar and on Jaintia Hills to check illegal immigration coming from Bangladesh side,” Sawkmie said, urging the Chief Minister to brief the Governor on MRSSA due to the importance the act held and hence required the Governor’s assent.
“Hand over the responsibility to a dedicated department to man entry and exit points. Decide on the actions to be taken if any detection of influx and illegal infiltration at the facilitation centres,” he added, highlighting the importance of cooperation from Dorbar Shnongs.
(Edited by Andre Kongri & Anirban Paul)