Shillong, July 17: The Khasi Students Union (KSU) has decided to intensify checking to flush out influx and illegal immigrants from the state as it maintained that no permission is required for conducting such operations.
This was announced during the occasion to observe the 184th death anniversary of a legendary Khasi freedom fighter – U Tirot Sing Syiem – who rebel against the British Empire, held in the city on Wednesday.
Leaders and members of the KSU and Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) paid rich tributes and observed minute of silence in front of the statue of the freedom fighter at Madan Iewrynghep (Firebrigade).
Addressing the gathering, KSU chief Lambok Starwell Marngar urged the members of the Union to further intensify checking against influx in their respective jurisdictions across the Khasi-Jaintia Hills region.
“We would also like to send a strong message that we don’t need to take any permission from either the Secretariat or the district council as it is our legitimate right to protect our land. The uniform of the indigenous community is enough to empower us,” Marngar said.
His statement also came in the wake of opposition against such anti-influx checking conducted by members of the NGOs from time to time.
He said influx of outsiders are entering the state in the name of seeking jobs, marriage and others but yet there is no mechanism to protect the indigenous community from such invasion.
Reminding the people of the selfless contribution made by U Tirot Sing Syiem, Marngar asserted the need to fight today for a better tomorrow.
The KSU and the FKJGP along with other pro-Inner Line Permit (ILP) NGOs have been demanding the state government for the immediate setting up of the entry-exit points as part of the comprehensive mechanism to deal with the issue of influx and illegal immigration into the state.
Expressing concern over the delay by the government to address this issue, FKJGP president Wellbirth Rani said, “We are not satisfied to see that the entry point is being set up at present only in Umling of Ri Bhoi District.”
“We demand the state government to immediately start the process of setting up the entry-exit points in other places (already identified) as well,” Rani said adding “These check points does not mean that we hate others but they are for our protection.”
Others who spoke on the occasion include North East Students Organization (NESO) chairman Samuel B Jyrwa, who is also a former KSU chief.
U Tirot Sing, a tribal Khasi chief of Nongkhlaw Kingdom, was the first tribal Khasi ruler to rebel against the British Empire in 1829.
On January 13, 1833, the British forces treacherously captured him and kept him in captivity at Dhaka where he died on July 17, 1835.
The plague stone on the foot of the statue erected by the KSU had on it writings about U Tirot Sing Syiem which described him as – “The bravest of the Khasis who loved his land the most, who served the best; sacred in our hearts.”