CoMSO protests against Union minister’s visit

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: Continuing their protest against visit of Union ministers to the state and demanding implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state, members of Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (CoMSO) raised slogans and held up placards during the visit of Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal here on Friday.
The members of CoMSO protested in front of the health complex when the minister visited the NIT campus at Laitumkhrah.
Earlier, the CoMSO members marched up to NEHU, but protested at a programme attended by the Governor, Tathagata Roy, instead of the Union minister’s at the conference hall of the administrative block of the institute.
In a statement issued here, the vice-president of Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC), Donboklang Kharlyngdoh, said the police prevented the CoMSO members and even threatened to arrest them. The police also snatched away the placards from them, he alleged.
The CoMSO stated that it will continue to protest against Union ministers who visit the state and remind them of the ILP demand.
“We are not against development that the Union ministers talk about, but we protest so that they can inform Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the state needs ILP and that the central government should respect the aspiration of the indigenous people”, he said.
It may be mentioned that the state Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui on Thursday requested the CoMSO to call off their ongoing drive of enforcing the ILP regime on their own to maintain law and order and in view of the upcoming examinations.
Kharjahrin had maintained that their ‘direct action’, which started on Wednesday, was 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 had made it clear that their programme would continue.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma is likely to meet the Union Home minister next week to seek an appointment for discussing the issue of implementation of ILP in the state.
Informing this here on Friday, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong recalled that the chief minister had earlier requested Shah for an audience with a delegation from the state led by him.
“We are still waiting and I think most probably the chief minister will go to Delhi sometime next week to again request the Home minister for an appointment as early as possible,” Tynsong said.
Shah last time had told the chief minister to wait till after the Delhi Assembly elections.
Two earlier likely dates — after New Year and then after Republic Day — did not materialise.
On the CoMSO’s drive to prevent foreigners from entering the state, Tynsong said that the NGOs in the state should be a little patient as the government is equally concerned about the issue of illegal immigration.

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