Shillong May 18: The Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) on Saturday said that it would not abandon the demand to implement the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state if the proposed entry-exit points are not effective in tackling the problem of influx and illegal immigration.
The setting up of the entry-exit points have been mandated as per the Meghalaya Resident Safety and Security Act (MRSSA), 2016 passed by the Meghalaya Assembly as part of the comprehensive mechanisms to address the issue.
Speaking on the sidelines of its 30th anniversary celebration, FKJGP chief Wellbirth Rani said the federation has not abandoned the demand for the implementation of the ILP in the state.
He said the state government during the ILP agitations in 2013, had expressed its inability to implement the ILP and thereby decided to pass the MRSSA, 2016 after due consultation with the 13 NGOs.
“Some have opposed the MRSSA but the fact is that there is no law which is absolute. It is only when the entry-exit points are set up then only we know the extent of their effectiveness,” Rani said.
Moreover, he said the MRSSA is just a nomenclature but its objective is to protect the indigenous community from being overwhelmed by illegal entry of outsiders.
Asked, general secretary of the Dundee Cliff Khongsit however said what is important is to have effective rules in place to implement such laws.
“If the entry-exit points are found to be ineffective, we would not hesitate to revive the demand for implementation of the ILP. But since the entry-exit points are yet to be set up, it is irrelevant to talk about their effectiveness,” he said.
Earlier, opening ceremony of the year-long celebration was inaugurated by the health minister AL Hek, who is also the founder general secretary of the FKJGP.
In his address, Hek termed the FKJGP as ‘production house’ which has produced leaders in different fields.
“It is a training ground for leaders. I am thankful to the organisation for providing a platform which has helped me to get here where I am today,” the minister said.
He also lauded the struggles and contributions of the founder president Sounder S Cajee towards strengthening the organisation and said, “His family members should always be remembered for their support and care towards the members.”
KHADC executive member and MDC of Sohra Titosstarwell Chyne in his speech as guest of honour said the FKJGP has also groomed him to become a leader. Chyne is the founding publicity secretary of the federation.
“I urged the present leaders to also work together with the former leaders on different issues,” he said.
During the function, the FKJGP also felicitated its formers leaders which include BJP South Shillong legislator Sanbor Shullai, former legislator of Nongkrem Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, Emlang Lytan, Joe Marwein and others.
Earlier, Hek and Shullai also donated Rs 1 lakh each to the FKJGP for purchase of land and construction of the office.