Entry permits should be introduced in Meghalaya to restrict the influx of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, social organisations demanded Wednesday.
The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), along with eight other organisations, submitted a joint memorandum to Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on the issue.
“The problem of influx has been plaguing the state for 30 years and has grown due to lack of sincerity and political will,” KSU supremo Daniel Khyriem told IANS Wednesday.
The chief minister earlier admitted that the entry of illegal immigrants into the state was alarming.
“When I visited certain parts of the state, I could see that the local indigenous people have been outnumbered by the people from outside the state,” Sangma said.
The KSU sought restrictions like the inner line permit – required by Indian citizens to enter Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram – saying that the influx situation in Meghalaya might go out of control given its proximity to Bangladesh and Assam.
The inner line permit is issued under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, by the state governments.
The KSU supremo said that in the last decade the state’s population grew by 27.82 percent, as per the census 2011, raising apprehensions of illegal immigration.
“The influx of illegal immigrants in the state is not only alarming in areas bordering Bangladesh and inter-state border with Assam but the immigrants have outnumbered the indigenous tribals in certain areas in Shillong as well,” Khyriem said.
The implementation of the inner line permit would help protect the tribal population from being “annihilated” in their own land, he said.
On July 13, the state assembly in neighbouring Manipur adopted a resolution urging the central government to extend the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 to the state to check the influx of suspected Bangladeshi and Myanmarese nationals.