GUWAHATI: Meghalaya has got a replica of inner line permit (ILP) which will make it mandatory for non-local visitors to register themselves prior to entering the state.
The Conrad Sangma cabinet has approved the amended Meghalaya Residents, Safety and Security Act, 2016.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said the amended Act would come into force with immediate effect and regularized in the next Assembly session. The decision was made following consultations with different stakeholders including political parties and tribal bodies.
According to the amended Meghalaya Residents, Safety and Security Act, 2016, an outsider, willing to stay in the state for more than 24 hours, will be required to furnish necessary documents to the government. Tynsong said this was in the interests of visitors as well as the government and locals.
Employees of government and district councils are exempted from the purview of the Act.
“We will make the procedures of registration simple by redrafting the existing rules. We will also allow online registration,” Tynsong said.
The district task forces, which are headed by district magistrates, have been assigned to ensure the Act’s enforcement. The government warned that any person, failing to furnish the required information or providing false document, will be liable to be punished as per the law.
The basic aim of the Act is to protect the interests of state’s tribals by checking the influx of illegal immigrants. For years, the influential Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) has been demanding that the state be brought under ILP regime.
Currently, three states of the Northeast such as Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, are protected under the ILP. An outsider visiting the states is required to carry the ILP.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has been all along critical of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which the Centre seeks to pass in Parliament to grant Indian citizenship to immigrants belonging to six “persecuted” non-Muslim communities from Bangladesh besides Pakistan and Afghanistan. During protests against the Bill in the Northeast, he had told the Centre that the move could threaten the locals and their land, language and culture among others.