Meghalaya moots stringent law to arrest influx

Shillong, Oct 10 (IANS) Rejecting the opposition parties' plea for implementing the Inner Line Permit (ILP) to regulate outsiders' entry into Meghalaya, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Thursday promised to enact a stringent law to arrest the influx of illegal immigrants.

"We will enact the Meghalaya Regulation of Landlords & Verification of Tenant Bill, 2013, to regulate the stay of outsiders, especially the 'floating population', in the state to tackle influx and illegal immigration," Sangma said.

He was replying to a resolution in the assembly on the need to implement the British-era ILP to combat influx and illegal immigrants.

Indians should have Inner Line Permit before enter Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram. State governments issue ILP under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.

The resolution brought by Hill State People Democratic Party (HSPDP) legislator Ardent M. Basaiawmoit was defeated by the government through a voice vote after he refused to withdraw his resolution despite Sangma's assurance to formulate a stringent law.

On the other hand, Sangma said the proposed bill seeks to regulate people who are providing space in their premises, including mining areas and industrial areas.

"The new law which we have proposed to enact will not only help the government to capture all data of outsiders residing in the state, but even the landlord who will be bound to regulate the times of tenants' stay."

Sangma also informed the assembly that his government would soon take up with the central government a proposal for appropriate amendment to the Representation of People Act to ensure outsiders in the state do not get voting rights.

Rejecting the opposition's plea to implement the ILP, Sangma said, "Let us not talk about ILP anymore but talk of the actual measures so the law we enact will take care of our concerns."

Basaiawmoit said the proposed bill does not speak anything about influx but is aimed at regulating landlords and verify antecedents of tenants.

"The proposed bill is nothing but the same tenancy law implemented all over the world and in many states of India to define the role and relationship between a landlord and a tenant," Basaiawmoit said.