Demonstration outside Meghalaya secretariat seeking ILP implementation

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Shillong, Apr 16 (PTI) Members of several organisations of Meghalaya on Friday held a sit-in outside the secretariat here, demanding that Inner Line Permit (ILP) be implemented in the state to protect the identity and rights of its indigenous people.

Around 200 activists under the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (CoMSO), an umbrella body of some pro-ILP groups, suddenly gathered in front of the main gate of the state secretariat and started shouting slogans against the MDA government.

They also protested against the Centre's 'delay' in approving the resolution passed by the assembly for implementation of ILP in the state.

'We held this surprise protest to send a strong message to the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government not to take the people of the state for a ride.

'If it takes the issue lightly, a day will come when all citizens of the state will come in front of the secretariat,' CoMSO leader and Hynniewtrep Youth Council general secretary Roykupar Synrem said.

The ILP is a travel document required by outsiders, including people from other states of the country, to visit Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.

The Centre had decided to extend the ILP regime to Manipur in December 2019 to allay fears of the people of the northeastern state about the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

At that time, the Meghalaya assembly had adopted a resolution demanding the implementation of ILP in the state.

'A year has already gone since the resolution was adopted in the assembly. The Centre has not taken any decision on the issue,' the CoMSO leader said.

The demonstration by the pro-ILP organisations led to a traffic jam for nearly one hour near the secretariat. PTI JOP BDC BDC