CoMSO warns Centre of violent repercussions in state

Organisation to continue with ILP drive

SHILLONG: The Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (CoMSO) on Thursday cautioned the Centre not to push them to violent forms of agitation and implement Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state at the earliest while declining the government’s request to call off their ongoing drive of enforcing the regime on their own.
CoMSO chairman, Robertjune Kharjahrin, sounded the warning after a delegation of the organisation met Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui here at the Secretariat.
During the meeting, the Home minister urged them to call of their drive as the discussions dwelt on maintaining law and order in the state especially in view of the upcoming examinations.
Kharjahrin maintained that their ‘direct action’, which started on Wednesday, is not illegal as their checking at the various entry points was only to assist the police and prevent those without valid documents from entering the state.
Despite the Home minister’s request, Kharjahrin made it clear that their programme would continue. He also asserted that CoMSO members were not involved in the torching of two vehicles, including a government vehicle, on Wednesday.
Stating that delay in the implementation of ILP in the state by the Centre is denial, Kharjahrin said that they care for safety and ILP provides safety.
He also urged the state government to pursue the matter aggressively and push the Centre to agree to implement ILP in the state. He clarified that the members of the group are only asking for original documents of the people proving their Indian citizenship while they enter the state.
Questions have been raised over the CoMSO’s action as it is viewed as illegal since no non-government player is allowed to conduct checking.
Asked if the CoMSO’s action is illegal, Rymbui said that as long as people don’t take law into their own hands, he cannot say if it is illegal or not but the government will look into different aspects of it.
The minister said CoMSO told him that they would continue their drive in the border areas.
Rymbui said that the CoMSO’s drive could encourage people to take advantage of the situation which may go out of hand. “We as government cannot sit idle and we have to ensure the safety and security of the people,” he said.
He said the CoMSO is maintaining that they are only assisting the anti-infiltration department in detecting foreign nationals, which is not illegal, and since the police department is short of manpower. He said he would take stock of the police department next week to ascertain its strength and deficiencies.
Making it clear that he does not want any such activity which could create law and order problems in the state, he said that if this goes on then the government would have to take measures for the safety and security of the people.
“The government is firm that nobody should take law into their own hands,” he said.
On the torching of the government vehicle on Wednesday, he said that it is the property of the people and only the vehicle manufacturers will benefit from such acts.
Rymbui said he would call other NGOs as well to hear their views on any issue of the state.

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