The Umling checkpoint in Ri-Bhoi, to screen entrants to Meghalaya, is more concerned with Covid-19 and does next to nothing to curb illegal infiltration, the Federation of Khasi, Jaiñtia and Garo People (FKJGP) claimed today.
The pressure group conducted an inspection of the site, which was opened in December to great fanfare by the government as a pillar of the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act.
The staff at the facility are more focused on checking entrants’ Covid-19 test status rather than inspecting their documents to ensure that they are not illegal immigrants, the FKJGP said, adding that many vehicles blatantly give the checkpoint a miss, driving straight on by, and there are no security personnel to stop this. Even migrant labourers are categorized as tourists, FKJGP Ri-Bhoi unit Vice-President Lumlang Mawnai alleged.
“Outsiders who entered to work as labourers easily entered Meghalaya and there is no restriction as they were classified in the same category as tourists as there were no Labour Department officials to keep an eye on the matter,” Mawnai said, adding that the state government had tried to fool the public by claiming that the checkpoint would combat illegal migration.