Organizations demand for exemption of CAA in Meghalaya

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Three organisations in Meghalaya demanded the state government to urge the Centre to fully exempt Meghalaya from the purview of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 and its 2024 rules and to consider immediate implementation of the inner line permit (ILP) to check unabated influx into the state.

A memorandum in this regard has been submitted to the chief minister Conrad Sangma by the central bodies of Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC), Jaintia National Council (JNC) and Confederation of Ri Bhoi People (CORP) for his immediate intervention.

Speaking to reporters, HYC president Roy Kupar Synrem said: “We have urged the CM to implore upon the central government to provide for full exemption of the CAA, 2019 and its rules and also to extend the provisions of the ILP systems in the state of Meghalaya at the earliest.”

He said that the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India on March 11 notified the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 for implementing the provisions of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

“Although the CAA, 2019 provided for exemptions of the applicability of the act in the tribal areas of the state, the fact remains that the whole state of Meghalaya is not under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India. There are still areas under Shillong, the capital of the state where the provisions of the Sixth Schedule are not applicable and also where a huge number of immigrants are residing,” Synrem said.

“In such a case, if people migrate to these areas and then apply for citizenship under CAA, then how will the state stop them from getting the citizenship?” he asked.

“Is there a mechanism to keep track of the number of people presently residing within these areas so that data is kept for future references?” he asked.

Further, Synrem said: “We are also concerned that even if the majority of the areas in the state are exempted from the purview of the CAA, 2019, the state will be affected by the spill-over from the other states, especially Assam. In the absence of any law that regulates the movement of people entering the state, we fear that the exemption provided will be futile and we may face unwarranted situations of influx into the state.”

“Therefore, the only protection that we can have from this spill-over effect is the immediate implementation of the ILP system as well as full exemption of the provisions of the CAA in the state,” he said.

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