NRC
Representative Image. Image Credit - assamcareer.net

Meghalaya Chief Minister (CM) Conrad Sangma has said that his Government would convene a meeting with all stakeholders and political parties to discuss the need to carry out the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise in the State like in Assam.

Conrad said this in the Assembly on Wednesday while replying to a short duration discussion on the NRC initiated by the Opposition chief whip Process Sawkmie. In his discussion, Sawkmie stressed on the need to conduct NRC exercise in the State to check illegal immigrants. He said that various groups in the State have also demanded that NRC should be conducted in Meghalaya after the draft NRC was released in Assam on July 30 last wherein the names of over 40 lakh people did not appear in the citizens’ register.

The leader of Opposition, Mukul Sangma, said that keeping in mind the fallout of the NRC in Assam, there is need to see that Meghalaya is not “at the receiving end”. Stating that all the authorities in the State should be activated, Mukul said that according to inputs, there has been an abnormal increase of electorates in some areas of the State while suggesting the Government to use some sections of the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 for initiating action.

Conrad said the Central Government had mandated the National Population Register (NPR), which envisages a comprehensive electronic database of every usual citizen in the country as a first step for the creation of NRC.

After the release of NRC in Assam, Conrad said that the State Government had stepped up its vigil and set up many check points in different places as preventive measures. The CM also said that the State Government would move ahead in setting up entry/exit points to check influx at some critical locations in a phased manner.

Recalling his meeting with the Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi, Conrad said that he had also mentioned about works for railway projects that had stopped due to concerns for influx. “I mentioned the reasons where if we can start with an entry/exit point at Mendipathar Railway Station, it will instill confidence in our people. He (Union Minister) was supportive of the idea and said that if manpower is given from our side, there will be no problem in doing so.  If we can do this, I am sure big projects (railway projects) can also move forward with the support and cooperation of the stakeholders,” the CM said.

He informed that he has requested the Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong and Home Minister, James K Sangma to visit Mendipathar Railway Station in Garo Hills so that a similar mechanism can be put in place to check influx and instil confidence among the people.

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