SHILLONG: Noting that the stated have no executive power to initiate the National Register of Citizen (NRC) exercise, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma here on Tuesday said the state government would put in place mechanisms to protect the interest of the people of the state.
A short duration discussion on the publication of final NRC list in Assam and its fallout was initiated in Assembly by opposition Congress MLA Mayralborn Syiem.
"I have spoken to my counterpart in Assam as there are people from Meghalaya, married to Assamese, but their names have been excluded from the NRC list," Sangma said.
Expressing concern about exclusion of over 19 lakh people from the final NRC list in Assam, he said the Assam government assured him that genuine people from Meghalaya would not be affected.
Informing the Assembly that the state was alerted and check-posts activated after the publication of the draft NRC in Assam on July 30, 2018, Sangma said a deputy inspector general of police was appointed the nodal officer for dealing with matters relating to the impact and likely fallout of the NRC updation, and infiltration that might arise into Meghalaya districts.
"After the declaration of final NRC in Assam on August 31, all field units were alerted to maintain strict vigil for 24 hours, and instructed to conduct comprehensive checking and not allowing anyone from Assam without sufficient documents," Sangma said.
"Check-posts at key entry points, bordering Assam, have been equipped with adequate manpower, and additional check-points set up in different districts are being manned. Till date, 223 outsiders were detected and sent back to their places of origin since they could not produce valid documents. They were advised to bring valid documents as and when they visit the state," the Chief Minister said.
Sangma said urged all departments, legislators and civil society to assist in tackling the situation.
On the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016, Sangma said task force in various districts had been formed and district superintendents of police been asked to liaise with the headmen and to activate VDPs in all villages with instruction to provide information of any infiltration attempt by illegal immigrants in their villages.
Allaying fears on the Citizenship Amendment Bill, he said the Centre had maintained that it would call state governments and various groups from the Northeast to discuss the issue. "We will always keep the interest of our people as top priority," he said.