KHNAM bats for ILP amid CAB consultations

GUWAHATI: Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement reiterated the need for the inner line permit (ILP) system in Meghalaya, even as the Centre is in the midst of consultations with various stakeholders of the Northeast ahead of its plan to bring in the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

The talk doing the rounds is that three Northeast states, having the ILP in place, may be “exempted” from the purview of the Bill even as NEDA convenor, Himanta Biswa Sarma had told the media that the word “exempted” may not be there in the modified CAB draft to be prepared after conclusion of the consultations.

Speaking to The Shillong Times on Sunday, Thomas Passah, vice president of KHNAM’s central executive committee said the NPP-led Meghalaya government should immediately put in place ILP in the state.

“If the outcome of the meeting with the Union home minister is not in accordance with our demands, we will call upon all stakeholders to unite and fight for implementation of ILP,” Passah said.

As it is, KHNAM has always made it clear that ILP would be the only underlying mechanism to protect the state from the impact of CAB, which the Centre is likely to table and pass this month.

“The only answer we want from the central government is exemption from CAB or immediate implementation of ILP. Any other resolution will not be acceptable,” he said.

“If CAB is imposed on the indigenous tribal areas, then it is clear that  India would be violating an international commitment, which is the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Article 3 confers the right to self-determination on indigenous people,” Passah said.

It may be mentioned that a state delegation led by chief minister Conrad Sangma had passed a resolution to oppose implementation of the proposed CAB in Meghalaya.

The resolution was passed after a meeting in New Delhi between Sangma and stakeholders comprising representatives of the state government, political parties, autonomous district councils and civil societies.

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