Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has said the state government is taking all possible steps to urge the Centre to consider implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state.
Sangma informed the House that recently, during the visit of the Union Home Minister to the state on January 23, a memorandum was submitted in which the matter relating to the demand for implementation of ILP in the state was also included.
“…the state government is taking all possible steps to urge upon the Government of India to examine and consider the proposal…,” he said while replying to a zero hour notice moved by Congress legislator from Nongpoh, Mayralborn Syiem in the Assembly on Monday,.
While raising concern over the allegation that the Centre is asking the state government to choose either ILP or Sixth Schedule, Syiem said that this was a worrying sign for the state as the Centre could not mix the two issues. He also sought a categorical response from the state government on whether Meghalaya was going to get ILP or not.
The MLA also urged the state not to compromise with the issue of Sixth Schedule adding there was a need to sharpen its teeth to ensure the autonomous district councils were seen as assets and not liabilities for the state.
On this, the Chief Minister reminded that in response to the demands of various NGOs in the state for ILP implementation, the government had held a series of meetings with NGOs and various committees were constituted to find out a solution to solve the problem of influx.
He said a special session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly was held on December 19, 2019 wherein the resolution to demand for the Implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) was taken up.
Consequently, the resolution was adopted and passed by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly which unanimously resolved to urge upon the Government of India to implement ILP under Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1873 in the state of Meghalaya and further to move the Government of India for making necessary Amendment to the aforesaid Regulation for inclusion of the State of Meghalaya in the Preamble of the Eastern Bengal Frontier Regulation, 1873.
He informed that the resolution was sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India for consideration on December 23, 2019.
Further, the Chief Minister also informed that the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 was passed by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly and received the assent of the Governor on September 26, 2016.
The objectives of the Act is to provide a framework of verification and regulation of tenants residing in the state of Meghalaya so as to enhance the security of the citizens of the state and to prevent breach of peace and maintenance of public order and establishment of facilitation centers. He said the proposal for amendment of the Act was necessitated to strengthen the existing Act and to verify the persons who intend to stay in Meghalaya.
The Bill inserts a new section whereby all persons who wish to stay in Meghalaya for more than 48 hours have to register and furnish information as per the Rules to be framed while exempting certain categories of persons like permanent residents of the state, MPs, MLAs, government servants, etc
“The Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed by Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on March 19, 2020 and sent to the Governor for his assent and the matter is presently under discussion,” he stated.
Stating that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 came into force with the publication in the Gazette of India on December 12, 2019, the Chief Minister said that to ensure that the entire state is exempted from the purview of the CAA, 2019, a resolution was unanimously passed by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on March 16, 2020 urging upon the Government of India to exempt the entire state of Meghalaya including the areas not covered under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution from the purview of the said Act.
He said the Resolution was sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India for consideration on June 16, 2020.
“The Government again approached the Union Home Minister on both the matters on November 17, 2020 and the state of Meghalaya is awaiting the response of the Government of India on the matter,” he added.