“Effigy of the BJP-led NDA government and its Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)” were burnt in Shillong on Thursday by anti-influx groups as a mark of protest against the Centre’s dilly-dallying tactic to implement the inner line permit (ILP) in Meghalaya.
The effigy – also tagged as “illegal immigrants in Meghalaya” and “CAA is a murder weapon of NDA, CAA is hate crime” – was burnt during a public meeting organized by the four pressure groups at Motphran.
Activists of the Khasi Students Union (KSU), Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) and Ri Bhoi Youth Federation (RBYF) also carry placards demanding the immediate implementation of the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act (MRSSA).
The pressure groups have also decided to intensify their agitations next year, against the failure of the Centre to respect the resolution passed by the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on December 19, last year, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing the meeting, KSU chief Lambokstarwell Marngar said one year has lapsed since the ILP resolution was passed by the state Assembly yet the Centre is still buying time to examine the proposal.
Condemning this attitude of the Centre, Marngar announced that the four pressure groups will intensify their agitations in the state.
“This is because the CAA is a deadly virus and we are demanding a cure from the Centre to immediately implement ILP in the state,” he said while reminding that Manipur was given ILP because of CAA.
He also warned, “We will be compelled to start implementing our own ILP to protect our land and our people if the Centre continues to delay.”
FKJGP president Wellbirth Rani asked Union Home minister Amit Shah to be more specific about the day for the Centre to implement ILP in Meghalaya instead of asking the state government delegation to come after Christmas.
Stating that the pressure groups are running out of patience, Rani said, “If Meghalaya fails to get ILP and MRSSA, we will have no other option but to intensify our agitations and will not hesitate even if we have to crowd the jails in the state.”
On the other hand, HNYF general secretary Sadon K Blah said that implementation of ILP will not at all affect tourism in the state.
He also condemned the Union Home minister for stating that Meghalaya is already having Sixth Schedule. “He should know that there is no provision in the Sixth Schedule which can protect the state from illegal immigrants,” Blah said.
The HNYF leader also demanded the Centre to issue a notification for implementation of ILP in Meghalaya instead of delay by taking it up in the Parliament.
“If for Manipur you can give ILP just by issuing a cabinet memo, we also want you to immediately pass a notification to give ILP to Meghalaya. To say that you have to take it up in the Parliament, it is not acceptable to us,” he said.