Pro-ILP groups oppose implementation of MRSSA without provisions of BEFR, 1873

Shillong, July 11: Pro-Inner Line Permit (ILP) groups in Meghalaya on Thursday met Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong and sought to know the delay of the government to amend the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act (MRSSA), 2016.

The groups under the banner of the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organizations (CoMSO) said that it would continue opposing the Act if provisions of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR), 1873 are not incorporated.

The MRSSA was passed by the state government in 2016 as part of its comprehensive mechanisms to deal with the issue of influx and illegal immigration into the state for protection and safeguarding the interest of the indigenous communities.

Chairman of CoMSO, Robertjune Kharjahrin said the deputy chief minister has informed the delegation that the proposed amendment of the MRSSA, 2016 is in the final stage and is likely to be completed within this month for placing before the Cabinet.

Kharjahrin said that the CoMSO opposed the Act in its present form because it would be meaningless to set up entry-exit points to check influx if the Act is weak.

“We will take a final call only after seeing the draft amendment of the MRSSA, 2016,” he said while informing that they have already submitted their suggestions for incorporation of relevant provisions of the BEFR, 1873 while amending the MRSSA.

The CoMSO has demanded from the state government to include Section 3 and 4 of the BEFR, 1873, which mandated the need for outsiders to obtain permit before entering the state, failing which action will be taken against them.

“We also want the government to incorporate section 7 of the BEFR to prevent acquisition of land by non-indigenous people. This is because there are over 30 tribes which are being recognized in the state in view of the fact that that the ST list of Meghalaya is just a copy paste list from Assam, and ST list includes different tribes of the North Eastern Region,” he said.

He also said that the CoMSO would pressurize the state government to amend the Constitution (Schedule Tribe) Order, 1950 to ensure that only tribes of Meghalaya that – Khasi, Jaintia and Garo are in the ST list.