The Hynñiewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF) and Khun Hynñiewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) have separately questioned the state government over the Umling checkpoint, which is meant to stop illegal infiltration into Meghalaya.
Last week the government announced that the planned Umling checkpoint contract had been de-sanctioned but the very next day Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma announced that his government had decided on a pre-fabricated building at the location to act as the checkpoint.
In a press release today, HNYF General Secretary Sadon Blah, speaking on behalf of several pressure groups, called on the government to be specific as to when exactly the building will be constructed. Sangma had said that it would take 60 days and Blah said that the HNYF’s understanding is that the “countdown to 60 days begins from October 2, the day when the Chief Minister gave the statement”.
He also reminded the government to make it clear on the entry/exit checkpoints in Garo Hills, which, he said, “have not seen any signs of moving forwards” even though Garo Hills “is also a prime route for influx into the state.”
KHNAM leader Thomas Passah, meanwhile, said that the de-sanctioning has “further strengthened the belief” that the checkpoint idea is “to mislead and buy time from the demand for the implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state”.
He questioned why the checkpoint is to be set up in Umling, rather than Khanapara or Byrnihat, which are closer to the Assam border. Sangma said that the previous plan had been scrapped because it would have taken up significant time and come at a great cost. Passah questioned why, if this is the case, had the government not worked out all the plans before sanctioning the original project, calling it “unprofessional and a waste of public money”.