Assam MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha urged Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma not to implement the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in Meghalaya as it would only result in the harassment of genuine Indian citizens, especially those from other North East states.
The Congress Party legislator, who represents Karimganj North constituency, also raised concerns about the safety of the Bengali community in Meghalaya after high-profile claims and counter claims were made over the last two months.
Purkayastha said that with the incorporation of the Sixth Schedule into the Constitution, there was no need for the ILP, which is a colonial era mechanism.
“With such protection there should not be apprehension of losing constitutional rights of the indigenous people who are insisting on the introduction of ILP,” the MLA said.
The ILP, in fact, will be a form of harassment to other North Eastern citizens, such as those from South Assam, Tripura, Mizoram and parts of Manipur, which are connected to the rest of the country via Meghalaya.
In a separate letter to the CM, Purkayastha raised the issue of Bengalis’ safety, saying that the community has faced physical and mental atrocities over the last few months.
Referring to a slogan raised by the Khasi Students Union in the most recent flaring of tensions, the MLA said, “The Bengalis residing in Meghalaya are not intruders or anti-nationals, they are bona fide citizens of India. Identifying all of them as Bangladeshis is audacious and an act of disrespect to the entire Bengali community.”
“The Bengalis residing in Meghalaya are not intruders or anti-nationals…Identifying all of them as Bangladeshis is audacious and an act of disrespect…- Assam MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha”