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Shah gives no assurance on ILP in Meghalaya

Leaders of several pressure groups who met the Union Home Minister here, expressed their disappointment, saying that Shah did not even utter a word on the issue of ILP.

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Shillong: Union Home Minister Amit Shah did not give any assurance to
the pressure groups of the State on their demands to implement Inner Line Permit (ILP) in Meghalaya and neither did he mention about the issue though he listened to the leaders of the groups spearheading the demand for the permit in the State.
Leaders of several pressure groups who met the Union Home Minister here, expressed their disappointment, saying that Shah did not even utter a word on the issue of ILP.

“Today the Union Home Minister simply listened to what we said, our aspiration as leaders of pressure groups and of the people of the State as a whole. But there was no assurance or commitment on the issue of ILP,” Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) president Lambokstarwell Marngar said.

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ILP is a British-era regulation designed to preserve ethnicity and culture of the Northeastern tribals.
The regulation designed to preserve ethnicity and culture of the north eastern tribals, required all Indian citizens not usually residents of the area to secure a special permit for entering the border states and regions of the northeast.

The permit system is still in force in Nagaland as well as Mizoram as well Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.

Terming the Union Home Minister’s silence on the issue of ILP as “insulting” to the people of the state, the KSU president said that it’s been more than a year since the Meghalaya Assembly had passed a unanimous resolution urging the Centre to implement ILP in the state, but the people were yet to get an answer on what is the stand of the Government of India on the matter.

“We wanted to only know what’s the stand of the Centre on the ILP but that too he could not answer,” Marngar said, adding that in the next few days the pressure groups will sit to chalk out their future course of action.

“We understand that we are in the midst of a pandemic. But there’s another virus afflicting our indigenous society. We will have to find a cure ourselves from now on,” he asserted.

Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), president Wellbirth Rani said that this was the third time they met the Union Home Minister on the same issue, but to no avail as yet.

“In this third meeting we had expected that he will assure us something. But till today we are not satisfied and happy with the outcome of the meeting,” Rani added.

The pressure groups also took up the long pending boundary dispute with Assam and also the inclusion of Khasi language in the Eight Schedule to the Constitution.

On the other hand, Cabinet Minister and Mylliem legislator, Hamletson Dohling took up the issue of ILP when Shah met the State Cabinet Minister.

He told the Union Home Minister, that none of the previous governments gave the people of the State an opportunity to take up the issue at the national level.

“This is the only government that gave us a chance to raise the issue of ILP with the Government of India,” he said, even as he expressed hope their demands would be responded to “in a positive manner”.

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