Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma takes up several issues during visit to Delhi Credit: File Image

Shillong: Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma, accompanied by the deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong, met the Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday in New Delhi. Several pending issues like the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act (MRSSA) and the Inner Line Permit (ILP) were raised during the meeting.

Sangma informed that Shah gave a patient hearing to the issues and concerns brought forward and has even given his suggestions.

“Discussions on the issues around the MRSSA were taken up to which the Home Minister suggested that the state government and officials of Ministry of Home Affairs must further discuss the issues of MRSSA,” informed Sangma.

He added that Shah urged them to find an amicable way forward for the same.

Sangma also reminded Shah about organisations from Meghalaya who wanted to meet him during his recent visit to Shillong. During his visit, Shah managed to spare a few seconds which had left leaders of several organisations disappointed.

“Home Minister suggested that they should come to the Parliament to discuss the same. The Home Minister has also planned a two-day visit to Shillong to discuss revamping the NEC,” informed Sangma.

He said that Shah suggested that during his visit planned for March 2021 he would make time to meet the organisations during his two-day stay in Shillong.

Chief Minister informed that the Union Home Minister has assured that he will do everything possible to safeguard the culture, identity and language of the people of Meghalaya and the North East.

“Shah also stated that the issues of border fencing need to be resolved and expedited. He (Amit Shah) mentioned that there are some sections in which the construction has not started yet due to local issues, and urged the State Government to hold talks with stakeholders and ensure all the concerns are addressed and start the work at the earliest,” informed Sangma.

Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) and Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organisation (CoMSO) call bluff on Shah’s comments

Speaking with EastMojo, KSU President Lambok Marngar said earlier, the Home Minister said he would call them to Delhi. “Now he says he will come to Shillong again, these two statements itself is so contradictory. It can be a tactic to delay,” stated Marngar.

He added that they would continue with their agitations and their democratic movement.

“If the situation is extreme let time speak for itself. The demand for the Inner Line Permit has been going on for close to 42 years. We are ready to continue our fight and will not rest,” said Marngar.

Echoing the same emotions CoMSO chairman Robertjune Kharjahrin said that they are unhappy with the meeting’s outcome.

“We feel that the Union Home Minister has taken the issue of ILP very lightly. It seems like the protection of Meghalaya indigenous people and its identity are not important to the government,” mentioned Kharjahrin.

Concerning the MRSSA Bill 2020, he said that it is a bill framed under the state list and does not understand why it needs to be discussed with the Home Ministry.

“It’s wrong on the part of the former Governor to refer the Bill to the Home Ministry, and this is a bad precedent. It undermines the power of Meghalaya and violates the federal structure of the constitution,” said Kharjahrin.

CoMSO has once again demanded that the Governor should immediately give his consent for the Bill. “In our last meeting, he had mentioned that the Bill was doable, then why is he delaying it now?” questioned Kharjahrin.

Following today’s meeting of the CM and the Deputy CM, CoMSO has decided to have a consultation meeting among CSO leaders to collectively decide the future course of action.

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