HYC reiterates ILP demand, asks Mukul to hold dialogue on railway issue

Shillong, June 23: The Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) on Friday asked the Congress-led Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA-II) government to invite all pressure groups including the KSU for a dialogue on railway issue.
Addressing a press conference here, HYC general secretary Robertjune Kharjahrin said that the government should put on hold the proposed railway project and initiate talks with all pressure groups.
Kharjahrin also lambasted at the “dictatorial attitude” of chief minister, Mukul Sangma, who instead of allowing a debate on the pros and cons of the project, the government went ahead in allowing the Northeast Frontier Railway to start the work for the railway line in Ri-Bhoi District, without any public consultation.
“He (Mukul) should understand that chief minister also means chief servant and the post is temporary, but if railway comes, it will be permanent,” Kharjahrin said.
Sangma had earlier maintained that the government would not hold talks with the KSU for indulging in arson and other criminal and unlawful activities. Several KSU members have been arrested following a protest at the construction site of the railway line at Ronghona village last month.
However, the HYC general secretary said, “if the chief minister is thinking in this line, he should declare a new policy not to hold talks with pressure groups and the people. If he thinks that he is an undisputed leader, the CM should declare that this is his government’s new policy.”
Kharjahrin also said that the government had held talks with militant outfits, as it was only after talks, that a ceasefire happened.
“If the government can hold talks with militant groups, what prevents his government from doing the same with NGOs,” the HYC leader asked.
He also demanded the home minister to direct the state police to immediately stop hunting and arresting youths without evidences, which has victimised many families who are subjected to unnecessary harassment.
Reiterating that implementation of ILP is feasible in the state to check influx, the HYC also slammed the chief minister for claiming that the setting up of Facilitation Centres would serve as an alternative to Inner Line Permit (ILP).
According to him, the facilitation centre cannot be compared with ILP as the former is weak, while the latter has the power to restrict the entry of outsiders, without valid documents into the state.
“Facilitation centres will facilitate entry of people without having any power to verify and restrict, whereas ILP restricts entry of people,” Kharjahrin added.
Asking chief minister to take back his statement on this, Kharjarin said the HYC was ready to debate with all Cabinet ministers of the present government on the effectiveness of the ILP, if allowed to be implemented.
He also said that the HYC had submitted a 14-point memorandum to the chief minister in February this with a request to call a meeting to discuss all the points with the government, but no appointment has been given till date.

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