Meghalaya Govt mulls ordinance route on Safety Act

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SHILLONG, April 28: As the demand for implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) from pressure groups gains momentum in Meghalaya, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has not ruled out the possibility of coming out with an ordinance to approve the proposed amendment to the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016.
Talking to media persons here on Saturday, Sangma said the Cabinet will have a meeting next week to discuss the proposed amendment to the Act.
“Once the Cabinet meets to discuss the issue, we will take a call if there is a need to come up with an ordinance,” the chief minister said. When asked about the demand of the Opposition Congress to convene a special session of the Assembly for the state government to come clean on the issue of ILP, the chief minister said the Cabinet will deliberate on it and decide how to move forward.
“I want to make it very clear that the protection and interest of the people is a priority for the MDA government. The government is working hard to look at all the options. We are looking forward to ensuring the objective is achieved,” he said.
The Opposition Chief Whip, Process T Sawkmie, had asked the state government to convene a special session of the
Assembly and state whether the government would implement the ILP or the Safety Act.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong had said he did not see it necessary to convene the special session.
The state government has already prepared the draft of the amended Act.
An official had earlier said several clauses of the amended Act will have to be examined properly before it is adopted as it should not clash with central laws.
Since the Act is related to the safety of the residents, the government will have to dene who is a resident of Meghalaya.
Besides, the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016 did not elaborate on the nature of restrictions to the visitors to the state.
Recently, the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organizations (CoMSO) had resorted to Black Flag Day protest demanding the introduction of Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in the state.
CoMSO is in favour of incorporating four provisions of ILP in the amended Act.
The four provisions are that no one is allowed to enter or settle in the state without the permission of the state and the person/persons will have to inform about the number of days of stay.
According to the pressure group, there should be penal clause to punish any person who enters the state illegally and lastly, the visitors should not be allowed to stay beyond 179 days.(Courtesy: TST)