Intensifying their agitation, demanding the immediate implementation of inner line permit in the state, the Anti-Influx groups have decided to stage a protest against delay to implement the inner line permit (ILP) on January 21, which coincides with the celebration of Meghalaya’s 49th year of statehood.
The decision was taken at a meeting held under the banner of the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organizations (CoMSO) on Monday.
“We will have a protest in Shillong and other parts of the state on January 21, which is being celebrated as the Meghalaya Day,” CoMSO chairman Robertjune Kharjahrin told reporters after the meeting.
Stating that they are not against the creation of the state, Kharjahrin, also HYC president, however, said that the protest is to remind that the objective of the hill state movement was to ensure there are security and development in the state.
“The objective of the hill state movement is that we rule and govern as per our own genius but unfortunately even after 49 years, we are yet to achieve this,” he said.
“The demand for ILP is yet to be fulfilled by the union government, we still have boundary disputes with neighbouring Assam, most of the people are not happy with the land swap deal (with Bangladesh), Khasi language is pending for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule,” he added.
In view of this, Kharjahrin said the CoMSO feels that highlighting these issues concerning the state is more important than celebration.
Appealing to the Centre to consider the implementation of ILP in Meghalaya, the CoMSO leader said, “If Manipur is getting ILP as a gift, we in Meghalaya should get it as our right.”
On the other hand, Kharjahrin further informed that the CoMSO has decided to tour across the state and hold consultation meetings with all stakeholders including traditional heads in order to strengthen the demand for ILP.
“We will be meeting various stakeholders’ especially traditional heads and clan leaders to further strengthen the movement and ensure it gains solid momentum so that the Centre will have no other option but to respect the aspiration of the people of the state,” he said.
Meanwhile, the CoMSO has reiterated its demand for the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma to lead all 60 MLAs to Delhi for pressurizing the Centre to approve the resolution passed by the state Assembly in December 2019.
Reacting to deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong’s statement, Kharjahrin however said, “We have every right to voice our concern because we feel that a delegation of 60 MLAs will have more impact and that the union home ministry will finally honour the aspiration of the people.”
He said by leading a delegation of all 60 MLAs, there will be no scope for politicizing the ILP issue.
“We don’t want to see if the government is going to Delhi, opposition will criticize it as this resolution was unanimously passed by all 60 MLAs,” he said.