The Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (CoMSO), an umbrella body of more than 17 organisations, on Friday staged a protest in Shillong over the delay in implementing the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the State.
CoMSO general secretary Roy Kupar Synrem said that Friday’s stir was held to remind the state government about its indifferent attitude towards the demand for the implementation of ILP in the state.
“The CoMSO has given a stern warning to the government that if the necessary steps are not taken immediately for the early implementation of ILP in Meghalaya, we would be forced to mobilise the indigenous people of the state to march towards the civil secretariat and put it under lock and key,” Synrem said.
“We have no use of our elected representatives if they cannot fulfil the aspirations of the people, especially laws to protect the indigenous people of the state,” the CoMSO leader said.
If the ILP is enforced in the entire Meghalaya, like in four other northeastern states — Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur, the state would keep itself out of the purview of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
The ILP is an official travel document that allows an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period.
The CoMSO has been spearheading the agitation since 2019 for the introduction of ILP in the remaining parts of the state.
Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik had earlier intervened in the matter, but there has been no headway.
The CoMSO, after several months of silence due to the Covid-19 induced situation, had resumed its stir in November last year by holding black flag protests across Meghalaya.
“We have been asking all the 60 Meghalaya MLAs and three MPs of the state to hold sit-in demonstrations in Delhi to ensure that the ILP is enforced in the state soon,” Synrem said.
“Even though the Meghalaya Assembly had unanimously adopted a resolution on December 19, 2019, the Union Home Ministry is yet to take appropriate steps to enforce ILP in the remaining parts of the state,” he said.
The CoMSO also leader warned the National People’s Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government that if the ILP is not implemented soon, there would be more protests across the state.
The BJP with two MLAs is part of the MDA government in the state and one of its legislators, Alexander Laloo Hek, is the Health Minister.