HNLC demands Inner Line Permit to counter influx in Meghalaya

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Shillong/Guwahati, April 14: The proscribed militant outfit – Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has reportedly joined the anti-work permit chorus along with the other political and social groups and stated that without a proper mechanism like Inner Line Permit (ILP) to counter influx, the idea mooted by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma should not be transformed into an action.

In a press communiqué issued to the media on Friday, the HNLC has stated that the infiltration of immigrants from other parts of the state and the country not only affects the employment prospects of the youths of the state but also trample the identity of the indigenous tribes of Meghalaya.

HNLC publicity secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw while slamming the Congress on the issue of influx said,“We have witnessed in the Assembly these last few weeks that the Opposition wanted to speak in their mother tongue be it Khasi or Garo but ironically when the Congress was ruling the state, they did not wish to implement the ILP”.

Nongtraw also urged Meghalaya legislators that they should “take a ‘cue’ from Mizoram representatives, saying that a Mizo would never speak in any other language than their own.”

“This is the difference between lawmakers of Mizoram government and Meghalaya government,” he added.

Reacting on the Thursday’s dramatic walkout staged by the Opposition Congress over the work permit issue, the HNLC said, “This is a mere political eyewash and it is disgusting to see how Ampareen (Congress legislator) posed a question asking whether there are any Bangladeshi nationals in Meghalaya?”

Nongtraw further stated that it was under the Congress rule when immigrants from Bangladesh were given shelter in Meghalaya following the 1971 Bangladesh’s war of Independence. “Why didn’t the Congress return them to their hometown? These Bangladeshi immigrants have now settled in Meghalaya and even received citizenship; so why does the Opposition Congress worry about the work permit when it was the party itself which had first embraced them 47 years ago?” he questioned.

The HNLC has asked the MDA government in Meghalaya not only to look towards Bangladesh, “But as a CM, Conrad should also raise the issue of Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship, 1950 with the NDA government at the centre,” adding, “The HNLC maintained that if the Indo-Nepal border continues to remain open for Nepal nationals to enter India without any restrictions, then Northeast and Meghalaya will be over-populated by people coming from outside the country and population of the indigenous tribals of the region will be overrun by ‘foreigners,” Nongtraw added.