Meghalaya to have stronger mechanism than ILP

SHILLONG, Aug 31 – Meghalaya would have a “more stringent institutionalised mechanism than the Inner Line Permit (ILP)” to thwart infiltration into the State, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said.

Asked about the implementation of ILP, as demanded by several NGOs in the State, Sangma gave a vague reply and at one point said “ILP can be there in certain check points” and in the same vein added that the State would have a “better mechanism than the ILP”.

There has been a renewed demand from the Khasi Students’ Union, the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People and other NGOs to implement the ILP in Meghalaya to discourage influx of illegal migrants, especially after what have been witnessed in the recent violence in Assam between local indigenous people and “illegal migrants from Bangladesh”.

ILP is an official travel document issued by the government to a person willing to enter into the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur. Meghalaya also wants a similar travel document issued to people willing to enter the State.

Sangma while explaining the “better institutionalised mechanism” that the State is formulating to curb influx said the Directorate of Infiltration is in an “advanced stage” of being created.

He also informed that appointment of labour officers in all the 39 blocks of the State has been sanctioned. These officials would oversee the influx of migrant labourers into the State, in term of registration and cross-checking of their antecedents.

Further, the State government would take advantage of its Sixth Schedule status and empower the traditional bodies to help the government in checking influx, he added. “We are trying to find ways to blend the traditional bodies with the government departments to help check influx,” he said.

Meghalaya, which shares a 443-km-long international border with Bangladesh, remains vulnerable to influx and this long border is one of its weakest links.

Sangma said the border areas need to be stringently guarded and all along he has been asking the Border Security Force to be more vigilant in this regard.