Sangma confident to get positive response from Centre to Meghalaya’s ILP demand

Shillong, Jan 10 (PTI) Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Friday expressed confidence that the Centre will give a positive response to the demand for introducing Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state.
The ILP is an official travel document issued by the government to grant inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period.
Sangma said he would take a delegation to New Delhi to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah for handing him over the resolution passed by the Assembly urging the Centre to implement the ILP in the state and ensure total exemption from the new citizenship law.
The chief minister told reporters that he has talked to Shah over the phone and is hoping to get an appointment next week.
“We will try to convince the government of India that this (ILP) is something which we require. Yes, exemption (from the CAA) has been given to our state to a large extent but we want full exemption,” Sangma said.
According to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
The indigenous people of the North Eastern states are scared that they would lose their identity and livelihood because of the new law. The region witnessed large-scale protests over this issue.
The legislation, however, will not be applicable to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and in the areas covered under the ILP.
Manipur, the fourth state after Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram in the region, was brought under the ILP regime from January one to protect the indigenous people of the state after the Citizenship Act was amended by Parliament.
“Exemption is one part of the protection. The other protection we require is from the movement (of people) that will take place because of the implementation of certain Acts.
That is why we need the ILP,” the chief minister said.
Asked on the status of the ordinance to amend the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act (MRSSA), 2016 for registration of outsiders visiting the state, Sangma said the ordinance technically is not applicable right now because a resolution to implement the ILP has been passed by the House.
“We are moving ahead with the ILP…. We are going to meet the Union home minister in this regard. We will make a decision based on how things move,” he said.
To another query, the chief minister said the MRSSA and the ILP are policies meant to achieve a similar goal. PTI