HYC activists storm Meghalaya secretariat; demand NRC, ILP

Correspondent Shillong, Aug 3: | Publish Date: 8/4/2018 1:01:47 AM IST

Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) activists on Friday stormed the Meghalaya secretariat demanding for conduct of National Register of Citizens (NRC) and introduction of the inner line permit (ILP) system to regulate movement to certain areas in the state.

In fact, this is the second in the past two months that there was a breach of security in the state Secretariat.  The first was on June 4, when a group of hawkers comprising of men and women barged in to meet Chief Minister Conrad Sangma during the height of protest in some part of Shillong city.

The HYC activists staged a protest in front Mahatma Gandhi statue and shouted slogans demanding for introduction of ILP and conduct for NRC to detect illegal Bangladeshi immigrants residing in Meghalaya.

Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and his council of ministers were not present in the secretariat barring Chief Secretary Y Tsering and other government officials.

However, the state police later pushed out the activists.

 “We need to express our anger (protest inside secretariat) to the government so that it wakes up to our demands for introduction of ILP and to conduct the NRC to detect illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in the state,” HYC general secretary Roy Kupar Synrem told journalists.

ILP is an official travel document issued by the union government to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected/restricted area for a limited period. It is obligatory for Indian citizens from outside those states to obtain permit for entering into the restricted areas.

The permit system, which is still in force in Nagaland as well as Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, derives from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873, and entails issuance of official travel documents issued by the central government to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected/restricted area for a limited period.

Synrem said that the proposed entry and exit points to be set up by the Meghalaya government will not prevent illegal Bangladeshi immigrants entering the state as the authorities will ask only for the EPIC (electoral photo identity card) of the persons entering the state.

 “We have seen in Assam is that those listed in the EPIC do not found their names in the NRC and these 40 lakh persons left out of the NRC there is a clear possibility that those not finding their names there may flee that state and settle in Meghalaya,” Synrem said.

On the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, the HYC said, “If this bill is passed most Hindus from Bangladesh will seek refuge in India and the indigenous people of Meghalaya will be overwhelmed.”

Meanwhile, the Meghalaya police admitted that there was a breach of security in the secretariat due to intelligence failure.

 “… We had no intelligence inputs (HYC activists to storm secretariat). It was only once these people have congregated I got information,” Davies Marak, the district police chief of East Khasi Hills said.

 “They entered like normal people they did not come in a group so our people did not know that they belong to the same group. They started entering and took out the placards,” he said.


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