Various pressure groups from the Garo Hills region, including the GSU, FAF, ADE, AYWO and FKJGP have urged the State government to put more pressure on the GOI to expedite the implementation of ILP and MRSSA for the better protection of the indigenous peoples and arrest the ongoing drastic demographic change due to infiltration by illegal immigrants.
Taking the example of the Manipur government which passed the ILP resolution three times before its implementation, the organisations felt the state government should show the same seriousness on the demand for implementation of ILP in the state.
“The fight for ILP has been a long pending demand with the demand getting the attention of the government in 2013. The government offered a comprehensive mechanism, which included the MRSSA which got the central government’s attention due to the ‘Look East’ policy, though its implementation is still pending,” said the consortium of NGOs.
They added that the 13 organisations spearheading the agitation for Inner Line Permit (ILP) never gave up the demand.
“We will still fight for its implementation and have been disrupted by the pandemic. We urge the Meghalaya government and the opposition leaders to pass the ILP in the assembly again and put pressure on the Indian Govt,” they added.
The pressure groups termed the MRSSA and the set up of facilitation centres as a delaying tactic by successive ruling governments, nine years in the making.
They questioned the delay in solving the matter of illegal encroachment at the archaeological site at Wadgokgre under WGH. More than 300 squatters have forcefully occupied land and set up houses in what is clearly protected land.
“We waited for the government to act but saw none. It is now time to act. We are fighting against illegal invasion and this matter cannot be left pending for long. We will launch agitations if the matter is not acted upon quickly,” threatened the NGOs.
The NGOs added that the three demands – ILP, MRSSA and the eviction of illegal settlements in Wadagokgre needed to be resolved at the earliest or there would be agitations.