The United Democratic Party, an ally in ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government has urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah that due consideration should be given for implementation of the Inner Line Permit (1LP) in the state of Meghalaya, which would be in line with other small states of the region viz Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and recently the state of Manipur.
Signed by UDP President Metbah Lyngdoh, the UDP has submitted memorandum on five issues to Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his two days visit to Shillong.
The memorandum was handed over to Shah by UDP Minister in charge of Home (Police) Lahkmen Rymbui at Conventional Hall, Pinewood Shillong.
The UDP memorandum reads, “Since illegal immigration is a common issue and concern of the indigenous people of the Northeastern region, a more uniform approach instead of a fragmented one would augur well to address this long pending issue of the region as the 60 member of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly had unanimously adopted a resolution on the 19h December 2020 Assembly with one voice for implementation of the Inner Line Permit (LP) in the state of Meghalaya,” Lyngdoh said.
The memorandum further said, “…as you are aware, the State of Meghalaya is going to celebrate the Golden Jubilee (50th Year of Statehood) on the 21st January 2022. In our endeavour to propel the state forward, there are also numerous challenges that the state has to face. It is our envisioning that the various issues that has plagued the state for so many years be resolved with the right intent so that a proper road map can be charted for the next 50 years.”
The UDP President said that while most of the issues were highlighted, the party would like to reiterate the decisions conveyed to the Government of India earlier.
Informing Shah about the long cherished dream of the people of the state for the inclusion of the Khasi and Garo Languages in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution of India, the UDP president said that the people of the state of Meghalaya were overjoyed when the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly on 26th September 2018, adopted a resolution to petition the Government or India to include the Khasi and Garo Languages in the Eight Schedule of the constitution of India.
Lyngdoh also submitted his point that “When the Meghalaya Language bill was made an act in 2005 for recognition of Khasi and Garo languages as Associate Official languages, it was felt at that time that this has paved the way to facilitate of these two languages in the Eight Schedule. Besides, the state has also fulfilled other criteria such as having sizeable number of speakers of these two languages, the contiguity of the area where the people resides, the recognition at the graduate level by Dibrugarh University in 1919, and now by Calcutta University, Guwahati University and also as the medium of instruction in the state from the primary level to Ph.D level in the North Eastern Hill University, the rich literary works and so on are strong justifications.”
On the issue of boundary dispute, Lyngdoh said that the as the party, they are extremely happy to know that the Centre this time has taken cognizance of resolving the vexed boundary dispute between different states of the North Eastern Region that has lingering for almost 48 years.
“Despite the efforts made at the level of the Chief Minister of Meghalaya and Assam and also at the level of Chief Secretaries, the outcome or the talks has not yielded the desired results for both the states,” Lyngdoh said.
The UDP chief further informed Shah that unpleasant skirmishes keep erupting periodically in the border areas. Inspite, of earlier decisions taken to maintain status quo, the areas of differences witnessed sporadic incidents and mounting tensions from time to time.
The UDP president that his party is hopeful that this time as assured by the Centre, the two states will be able to find an amicable solution to resolve the boundary issue once and for all.
With regard to the proposed amendment of the Sixth Schedule, the UDP president said that his party is of the view that all the points raised and submitted to the Parliamentary Standing Committee in line with the traditional and cultural practice of the indigenous people, be incorporated for the smooth and effective functioning of the District Councils in the state.
On the Meghalaya-Assam Joint Cadre system, Lyngdoh further said that although it has its merits and demerits, the system has been a bone of contention which has greatly affected the functioning of the administrative system in the state and many a time forced bureaucrats to be subservient to their parent state.
The UDP is of the opinion that a separate cadre for the State of Meghalaya would ensure that officers would be able to perform better in the state that they are attached with, he said.