Shillong, Apr 25: Joining the bandwagon, the All Khasi Hills Achik Federation (AKHAF) has decided to extend full support to the demand for the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system to in the state.
“We shall be unite with all the NGOs to mount pressure on the state government to immediately implement the ILP system for the protection of the indigenous people in the state,” general secretary of the federation John D Sangma told reporters after a meeting held in the city here on Thursday.
Like the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (CoMSO), the AKHAF also demanded the chief minister Conrad K Sangma to immediately convene the meeting of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) to know its stand on the ILP issue, he said.
Asked whether they welcome the move of the government to bring an ILP-like mechanism to address the issue of influx and illegal immigration, John however said just to give lip service will not work adding that the federation believes that the ILP is the only strong mechanism.
He added that the entry-exit points proposed to be set up across the state are not going to help curb illegal influx and illegal immigration. “Therefore we would soon meet the state government to insist that it consider implementation of the ILP,” he said.
Formed on March 30, the AKHAF seeks to strengthen the unity among the Garo, Khasi and Jaintia tribe with an aim to resolve the various issues that are confronting the state.
On the stand of the federation with regards to the demand for creation of a separate Garoland state, the general secretary of the federation however said the Garo people who are residing in the Khasi Hills region were never consulted on this issue. “However if in the future they do, we will discuss and take a call on the matter,” he said.
Having said this, John however said that he was born and brought up in Khasi Hills and would also wish to die in his own village. “I will continue to fight for the cause of the people of the region,” he stated.
According to him, approximately over 50,000 Garo people are residing in villages under the South West Khasi Hills District.
Meanwhile, the leader further slammed the state government for neglecting the people in the rural areas and said that it is a shame that children are forced to walk 10-20 kilometers to reach their schools.
“Therefore, the most important issue to be taken up by the federation is infrastructure development,” he said while adding that we will see that the government take necessary steps to improve the health care facilities at the Public Health Centres (PHCs) which at present is very poor.
On the other hand, the federation has also demanded the state government to immediately set up two police outpost at Bagli and Khonjoy in South West Khasi Hills District.