No ILP, No Rest: Meghalaya pressure groups warn of street protests in new year
On Wednesday night, over 8,000 members of pressure groups under the umbrella of Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisations (CoMSO) marched from Mawlai to Motphran, pressing for their demand for Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state.
Lighting up the night sky in Shillong, the protestors carried torchlights while commemorating the 158th death anniversary of U Kiang Nongbah, the legendary freedom fighter. The protesters shouted slogans of "no ILP no rest" while waving flags as they reached the Motphran parking lot, where leaders took turns to address the gathering.
CoMSO secretary Roykupar Synrem said that the Centre had failed to respect the decision of Meghalaya's 60 MLAs by delaying to approve the resolution on ILP passed by them in the state Assembly last year.
“Therefore, we have decided to fight till we get ILP. We will also intensify our agitation till the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security (Amendment) Bill, 2020 is implemented,” he said.
In a clear message to the elected representatives of the state, Synrem reminded legislators that they were in their respective positions because of the mandate given by the people of the state.
“If they fail to ensure Meghalaya gets ILP and MRSSAB, people of Meghalaya will come out on the streets to ensure that their demands are met,” he said.
Vice President of the Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC), Donboklang Kharlangdoh, said if the Centre could give ILP "as a gift to Manipur" then why not for Meghalaya.
Meanwhile, the Jaintia Students’ Union (JSU) and the Khasi Students Union (KSU) took out a car & bike rally at Jowai, the district headquarters of West Jaintia Hills, to protest against the Centre’s delay in implementing ILP.
JSU general secretary Treibor Suchen said the Centre lacks the political will to fulfill the long-pending aspirations of the people of the state. “If the Centre continues to delay, we will be compelled to come out to the street and demand for our rights,” he said.