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Meghalaya eyes strong law to check illegal immigrants

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Thu, Aug 29, 2013 16:10 hrs

Shillong, Aug 29 (IANS) Ruling out the re-introduction of a permit system for Indians seeking to enter Meghalaya, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Thursday said the government will implement a strong law to check the influx of illegal immigrants.

"The government is equally concerned over the influx and we will tackle the issue by strengthening the existing laws and enforcement agencies," Sangma told reporters here after a meeting with 10 social organisations which demanded the re-introduction of the inner line permit (ILP) system.

He said that the government was in process of having a system, which was "more effective and comprehensive" rather than the ILP, which is also perceived as a piece of law that infringed upon the fundamental rights of the citizens.

The ILP is issued under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 by the state governments.

The chief minister claimed the tribal population had declined in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, where ILP was in force to curb the influx of outsiders in those states.

Underlining the need to implement the National Population Register Biometric Enrolment Plan in the state, Sangma said it will help a great deal to verify the credentials of the people.

"It is our shared objective to check influx and infiltration and we require further engagement and cooperation of NGOs, instead of hitting a stone-wall and taking a confrontational attitude," the chief minister said, while making clear that his government will not re-introduce the ILP in the state.

The 10 social organisations sought restrictions like the inner line permit - required by Indian citizens to enter Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram - saying that the influx situation in Meghalaya might go out of control given its proximity to Bangladesh and Assam.

Joe Marwein, the spokesman of the 10 organisations, said the implementation of the ILP would help protect the tribal population from being "annihilated" in their own land.




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