The Meghalaya Cabinet has approved a resolution to be tabled and passed in the State Assembly on the need to implement the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state.
The Meghalaya government will urge the Centre to implement the ILP system under the Eastern Bengal Frontier Regulation, 1873 in the state.
After the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, chief minister Conrad K Sangma told reporters that the Cabinet unanimously approved the government resolution on the ILP and the same would be passed during a one-day special session by the state Assembly on Thursday.
Commenting on the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government delegation with union home minister Amit Shah, the CM said, “We have demanded that the ILP be implemented in Meghalaya and the government has been very firm in this regard.”
“We informed the union home minister that we would be going ahead with the resolution. All these steps have been a positive response,” he added.
On the argument that the resolution on ILP need not be passed in the Assembly and the Meghalaya government can issue a notification as per the principal Act to extend the Eastern Bengal Frontier Regulation, 1873 in Meghalaya, the CM said, it is the preamble in the Eastern Bengal Frontier Regulation that defined the areas where it can be notified and implemented.
“The preamble has been changed in the past through a presidential notification. The recent one was done on December 11, 2019, where Manipur was added. A notification can only be issued based on the preamble and the details that are there in the regulation. Until and unless it is there in the preamble, and without insertion of the word Meghalaya, it will not be possible,” the CM said.
Earlier, former Nongkrem MLA Ardent Miller Basaïawmoit mentioned that in the principal Act, the regulation extends to the districts of Cachar, Kamrup, Khasi and Jaiñtia Hills, Lakhimpur, Naga Hills, Nagaon and Sivasagar.
“The Act states that it shall be lawful for the state government to prescribe and from time to time to issue a notification to implement ILP. They may say that the notification is only for Khasi and Jaiñtia Hills, but recently, the government of Nagaland has extended ILP to Dimapur and it does not need the approval of the Centre. Therefore, the people should not be misled,” Ardent said.
Conrad Sangma, however, said the former MLA might be referring to the earlier Act where the Garo, Khasi, and Jaintia were mentioned in the preamble, adding, “But this is not there anymore and the option is not with the state government.”
When asked whether the government is prioritizing ILP or the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 that seeks registration of people from outside who visit Meghalaya, Conrad said, “The state government at the moment is moving for the resolution to urge the central government to implement ILP.”
Earlier governor Tathagata Roy, who has taken leave, has delayed approval of the ordinance.
When asked about the new governor, RN Ravi, who has taken charge as Roy has gone on leave, the CM said that whoever takes over as governor is, it is the government’s duty to interact and advise the governor.
“Like in the past, we will continue to advise the governor in every possible way and in the best interest of the people of the state,” Conrad Sangma added.