The Meghalaya cabinet on Friday approved the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 wherein persons who come to the state will have to register with the state government for safety and security.

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By amending the Act, people from outside who come to the state as tenants, labourers, tourists and for other purposes, will have to register themselves for their own interest as well as for the interest of Meghalaya, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong told media.

However, permanent residents of Meghalaya, both tribals and non-tribals, need not worry about the registration, Tynsong said.

“Those (non-tribals and tribals) working in Central government offices and paramilitary forces, too, are exempt from the purview of the Act (registration process),” he said.

Tynsong said that task forces in various districts would be more proactive, and they would be strengthened to ensure they function well, and ensure no delays or inconveniences are caused to the people.

Any person who fails to furnish the information will be liable for punishment under section 176/177 of the Indian Penal Code.

“When the Act was in place in 2016, the focal point was only about tenants. Instructions were given at that time to all landowners to make sure that papers are in place, and that they should inform the traditional heads (Rangbah Shnongs, Dolloi, Nokmas) about the tenants,” he said.

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“The amendment act is inclusive and safer. People have to comply with certain rules, and the government would redraft the existing rules too to ensure simplest procedures for registration, including online registration,” the Deputy Chief Minister said.

Tynsong said the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 (MRSSA) is not related to the Inner Line Permit (ILP), but the amendment was for giving more teeth to the existing act.

The ILP, which is in force in Nagaland as well as Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, derives from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873, and entails issuance of official travel documents issued by the Central government to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected/restricted area for a limited period.

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