Don’t make ILP an issue: CM told NGOs

Shillong, Apr 16: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday said the government is looking at the best mechanism to curb inflow of influx and illegal immigration into the state even as he appealed to NGOs not to make the Inner Line Permit (ILP) an issue.

“The ILP or the Meghalaya Resident Safety and Security Act or putting up of gates, these are all mechanisms to achieve the goal and we should not dilute the goal which is to protect our people,” Sangma told journalists in an interaction here.

“…let us not make ILP the issue. The issue is always protecting our people and ILP is an option and a mechanism which is used. Which will be the best mechanism we are looking into it and we are discussing and we will doo what is in the best interest of our people,” he said.

Sangma said his government’s stand is very clear from day one that its objection is for protection of the indigenous people and that objective will never be diluted.

His statement also came a day after the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (CoMSO) has announced its decision to observe a black flag day on April 23, as a mark of protest against the government’s failure to implement the ILP system.

Asked, the chief minister however said that a lot of positive movement have been taking place and the work for the setting up of the entry point at Umling, Ri Bhoi District is likely to start in the month of May.

According to him, the government has been able to save some money by finalising the location at Umling as the earlier one which was identified for the purpose not only that it is running into crores but its development was also running into hundreds of crores.

“It is not easy and it is not that we can do things immediately,” Sangma said while informing that the government is also in the process of looking at the existing laws and how to make them stronger.

“All these exercises are being done and I think the Ngos should feel positive on what steps are being taken by us and I am sure people of the state as a whole see that the government is committed and sincere on this issue and let us hope the Ngos also sees it and understand that things are moving positively and there is no need to have black flag march or (agitational) programme,” the CM added.

Earlier, the Dorbar Shnong of Pahammawlein 20th Mile had submitted a memorandum to the CM expressing its disappointment on the government’s decision to relocate the entry point from 19th Mile to Umling.

On this, the chief minister while saying that he is yet to see the copy of the memorandum however assured that he would try to address the concern expressed by the particular dorbar shnong.

Meanwhile, the issue related to the proposed amendment of the Meghalaya Resident Safety and Security Act is likely to be taken up in the upcoming cabinet meeting, Sangma said.