Pressing home its demand for the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in Meghalaya, the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organizations (CoMSO) has now sought the intervention of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on this matter.
“(We) humbly requested that your good office to kindly accord approval for implementation of ILP system in the State of Meghalaya,” CoMSO said in a letter to Modi on Thursday.
It also informed the Prime Minister that the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly had on December 19 last year unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Centre to implement ILP in the state under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873.
CoMSO also said that the resolution moved by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma was supported by all members across party lines, including the MLAs of the BJP.
While the resolution was forwarded to the Central Government in the month of December, 2019, statements made by the Chief Minister recently indicate that the Centre is still examining the issue till date.
It also reminded that Union Home Minister Amit Shah in his meeting with the delegation of the state led by the Chief Minister in February earlier this year had assured that the Government of India is examining the matter for implementation of ILP in the state.
Stating that the four states in the North-east have put in place laws and mechanisms to contain unregulated entry of people into their respective jurisdictions by implementing the ILP, CoMSO said, “However, our state, which has been demanding ILP for a very long time has been denied this law and mechanism by the Central government.”
“Meghalaya just like Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur is a small state where the indigenous people of the state are a minority in the context of the national population and thus it needs special protection just like the indigenous people of the other four states,” it said.
Admitting that Meghalaya is a transit route to other North-east states, CoMSO suggested that the state government may frame flexible rules to implement the ILP system so that people using the state only as a transit route will not be affected.
Referring to the reply of the Minister of State for Home Affairs in the Rajya Sabha on February 27, 2013 relating to implementation of ILP in other states of the North-east pertaining to the question asked by the Member of the Upper House, Sabir Ali, MP, CoMSO said that it is abundantly clear that the ILP is a system specially meant for the protection of the indigenous/tribal population in these states and also that it was made clear that the ILP system falls within the reasonable restriction of Article 19 (5) of the Constitution of India.
It also stated that the Gauhati High Court in the case of ‘North East Plains People Traders and Youth Federation v. Union of India, 2008(3) Gua LT 845’ has also upheld the validity and constitutionality of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.