Reiterating its demand for implementation of Inner Line Permit in the state, the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) has sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for implementation of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR), 1873 or the inner-line permit (ILP) in the entire state.
“(We) humbly appeal to your esteemed office to kindly facilitate from your end to include the state of Meghalaya under the purview of the BEFR, 1873 or the ILP mechanism like Manipur,” the KSU said in its memorandum submitted to Modi on November 9.
“Implementation of the ILP in Meghalaya would promote the survival, progress, and security of the ethnic indigenous tribes of the state and it would also ensure peace and tranquility amongst the peace-loving citizens of the state,” it said.
Justifying its demand, the KSU said that the state of Meghalaya is slowly becoming like Tripura and Assam where indigenous communities are being overwhelmed by migrant communities.
It said taking stock of the grievous situation of the state the body has since 1985 had petitioned successive state governments.
On November 30, last year a delegation of the KSU also submitted a memorandum to the union home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi seeking measures to combat unabated influx into the state by implementing and legislating effective mechanisms such as ILP to regulate the flow of outsiders into the state.
On the same note, the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on December 19, last year passed a resolution seeking the immediate implementation of the ILP in the entire state.
In its memorandum, the KSU also demanded the Centre to reconsider its decision to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) for the overall welfare and survival of the indigenous populace of the state.
“The KSU by demanding the repeal of the said amendment is in no way against any particular religion or community, but its primary concern is the threat of gradual annihilation of the microscopic indigenous tribal communities in the face of larger immigrating communities especially from Bangladesh irrespective of caste, community or religion,” it said.
The KSU also sought the PM’s intervention for exemption of Meghalaya from the Indo-Nepal Friendship Treaty, 1950 in order to avert conflicts in the future.
According to the KSU, similar to the CAA, the Indo-Nepal Friendship Treaty 1950 which permits Nepali citizens to acquire immediate Indian citizenship without any conditions has had serious ramifications in the state of Meghalaya.
“Since the 1980s, Meghalaya has seen a surge in the Nepali population in the state which poses a threat to the minuscule tribal population of the state leading to unwanted conflicts between the two groups. The immigrant Nepali community is also creating problems in the bordering areas of Meghalaya challenging the indigenous tribal rights to their land and state,” it said.
The other charter of demands includes a long-lasting solution to the boundary dispute with Assam, the inclusion of the Khasi language in the Eighth Schedule, and the establishment of a permanent Central Agricultural University in Meghalaya.