The Meghalaya government has sought an appointment with Union Home Minister Amit Shah to bring the state under the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime following the passage of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
The Meghalaya assembly had last month unanimously passed a resolution urging the Union government to implement ILP under the Eastern Bengal Frontier Regulation, 1873, in the state.
“We have sought an appointment with the Home Minister but they have not responded to our request,” advisor to Meghalaya chief minister, Thomas Sangma said.
Day after the passage of the CAA in the parliament, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had met Shah and demanded the implementation of the ILP in the state.
During his election rallies in Jharkhand, Shah said that he had asked the chief minister to meet him after Christmas and we can think constructively for a solution for Meghalaya.
The ILP regime was extended to Manipur on December 11 with President Ram Nath Kovind signing the order. Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh have already been under the ILP regime for several decades.
The powerful Khasi Student’s Union (KSU), which has been demanding for implementation of ILP in the state, is firmed to intensify its agitation to mount pressure on the government to implement the permit system to prevent suspected illegal Bangladesh immigrants entering the State.
“If the central government can give ILP to the state of Manipur why not us,” KSU president, Lambokstarwell Marngar asked.
He warned that the Union will intensify its agitation if the government turns down the government resolution urging the union government to implement ILP in the state.
Meanwhile, former legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit demanded from the Meghalaya government to clarify on the matter and come up with an official statement its stand on the CAA.
“If the Kerala assembly can adopt a resolution to not implement the CAA in its state what prevent our state legislature from replicating the same,” asked.
Basaiawmoit also demanded from the chief minister to clarify his stand as the head of the government and as the president of his party leading the government on the issue.
Asking the people of the state should not allow the government to wag the dog, Basaiawmoit said that in different parts of the Country agitations are continuing against the Citizenship Amendment Act Meghalaya seems to be quiet.
“Is it because the people of the state are convinced that the government will implement ILP and that the CAA will not affect the indigenous people of the state,” he asked.
Moreover, he said that this will be a huge blunder because ILP and CAA are two different issues altogether.
“The state has witnessed protests and agitations in the later part of 2019 in the wake of the amendment of the Citizenship Act passed by both houses of parliament. There is no doubt that fear has gripped the minds of the indigenous people that this amendment will lead to a change of demography in the entire region and that sons of the soil will be reduced to minority in their own homeland,” he said.
Basaiawmoit said it is also ironical that the lone NPP Lok Sabha member Agatha Sangma supported the passage of the CAB in the parliament whereas the Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma, who is the president of the party, has expressed his opposition to it.
Further, the BJP legislator Sanbor Shullai had claimed to have strongly objected to the CAB and even expressed “his willingness to commit suicide” should the Bill be passed by the Union Parliament whereas the State BJP is now mobilizing support for the CAA.