GUWAHATI: Facing criticism for the flip-flop by his National People’s Party (NPP) on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), which is now a law, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said the state’s coalition government had decided to expedite the process of implementation of amended Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act (MRSSA).
He told journalists that the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government would soon start working towards stepping up the process by taking all those involved in it on board.
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The MRSSA will be a replica of Inner Line Permit (ILP), enforced in Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.
The ILP is a travel document which a non-native is required to carry while he or she is traveling to an ILP-enforced state. It permits stay only for a limited period.
Once MRSSA is implemented, an outsider, willing to visit and stay in Meghalaya for more than 24 hours, will be required to register themselves in the same manner by furnishing necessary documents to the government.
Currently, the whole of Meghalaya is protected under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution where land and political rights are preserved mostly for the natives.
Sangma categorically stated that the state would continue to remain protected under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution even after the MRSSA’s implementation.
On November 1 last year, the state cabinet ratified an ordinance by amending MRSSA. Subsequently, it was forwarded to Governor Tathagata Roy for examination and approval.
Sangma has been all along critical of the issue of granting Indian citizenship to the non-Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, to the surprise of all, his sister, Agatha Sangma, who is the Tura MP, had voted in favour of CAB.