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Local groups resume ILP demand; hold public meetings

‘Not afraid to take up arms if Centre rejects plea’

SHILLONG/NONGSTOIN: In their continuous fight against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the demand for the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP), the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) and Ri Bhoi Youth Federation (RBYF) on Sunday held a public meeting.
The KSU held a meeting at Smit while other NGOs along with the KSU had another public meeting in Nongstoin.
Speaking at the meeting at Smit, KSU general secretary Donald V. Thabah said the objective of holding the public meeting is to make people aware of the reasons to protest against CAA and demand ILP.
While criticising the state government, he said that government should take up responsibility to have the ILP implemented in Meghalaya.
The secretary of the Dorbar Shnong of Mawryngkneng and former leader of the KSU, Wanlambok Kharsati said that illegal immigration is a serious matter and urged the traditional heads to be vigilant while issuing NOCs to outsiders.
Besides the contentious issues on CAA and ILP, Thabah also questioned the High Level Committee (HLC) as to the status of Harijan Colony.
At the meeting, Thabah said that settlement of people from Nepal increased steadily in the state following the Indo-Nepal Friendship Treaty, 1950.
He recalled that the demand for ILP by the KSU has been pending since 1987, 2001 and 2013.
Slamming the BJP-led NDA government, the KSU
 Central body president Lambokstar Marngar said the government is against indigenous community. Speaking at the meeting in Nongstoin, Marngar reminded the crowd of the fight of Wikliffe Syiem against the suppression from the Centre years ago. “It is happening again but we will fight against the laws from the Centre to suppress the indigenous people.”
He appreciated the state government for the resolution on ILP passed in December last but warned of agitation if the Centre does not implement ILP. He added, “If not now our jaitbynriew will disappear and will be heard only in history.”While warning the Centre, Marngar said that it is not a sin to demand the law to protect the indigenous community so that the future generation will survive and if the Centre oppresses people for demanding ILP in the state, they will be forced to take up arms.
Bipul Thangkhiew, president of RBYF said that most of the people of the state do not understand much about the CAA. “The BJP-led NDA government has fooled the people of the state and the country as a whole where many promises were made but failed to deliver. They are allowing more outsiders from other countries to settle in India when they already failed to deliver their promises to Indians,” he said.
Sadon Blah, general secretary of HNYF said that CAA is a proxy war that suppresses the indigenous people and more than 55 lakh Hindus will settle freely in any state in India after the implementation of CAA and if there is no law (ILP) to tackle the threat from outside, the Jaitbynriew will vanish.
 ”There are some politicians who try to politicise the issue by misleading people that if ILP is implemented 6th Schedule will be removed from the state,” Blah said while adding that in Mizoram the 6th Schedule still exists with the implementation of ILP, and they demanded that the whole Meghalaya should be under 6th Schedule.  
Echoing Marngar, he said that the delay by the Centre to implement the ILP will not stop them but they are ready to organise a series of agitation and their demand to the Centre was not a big thing but only a law to protect them from a threat to the indigenous people.
Wellbirth Rani, president of FKJGP said the demand for the implementation of ILP in the state in not an end but it is only the beginning even after the state government passed the resolution on ILP. He urged all the 60 MLAs to not only comment on the issue but to actually do something about it.
Before the public meeting, a rally was organised from Nondein till Nongstoin market, the rally was accompanied by bikers from TULBA. All the members from NGOs carried out their slogan demanding the need to implement the ILP in the state and opposed CAA.
Others who spoke include Rapborlang Nongrum, public secretary, KSU central body, W Lyngdoh, Sordar of Mawkawah and John Fisher Nongsiang, president of KSU, West Khasi Hills.