Shillong, November 27: An umbrella body of youth organisations organised black flag protests in Meghalaya on Friday demanding implementation of Inner Line Permit system (ILP) in the state.
Rallies were taken out in the state capital and the districts with the protestors carrying black flags.
Shopkeepers downed their shutters when the pro-ILP activists were passing through the roads in Lewduh and Khyndailad areas here and distributing black flags to commuters.
Movement of vehicles was also disrupted for some time.
However, there was no law and order problem so far, police said.
To visit the ILP-regime states, outsiders, including people from other states of the country, need to take permission. There are also protections for locals with regards to lands, jobs and other facilities.
The state assembly had last year uanimously adopted a resolution urging the Centre to implement ILP in Meghalaya.
The BJP is part of the National People’s Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government in the state.
The Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organizations (CoMSO) had announced a series of protests beginning with Friday’s black flag protest and a sit-in protest on December 4 over the Centres ‘delay’ in implementing ILP in the northeastern state.
“We are unhappy with the way the Central government has been treating us. While other northeastern states have been granted ILP, we are left waiting. These are signs of a step-motherly treatment towards us,” CoMSO secretary Roy Kupar Synrem said.
He also warned the state government that if the ILP is not implemented in the next few months, there would be more protests across the state.
The protesters have also demanded that 60 MLAs and 3 MPs of the state (2 Lok Sabha MPs, 1 Rajya Sabha MP) should visit Delhi and organise a sit-in demonstration at the national capital to ensure that the ILP is granted for Meghalaya.
Besides Nagaland and Manipur, the ILP regime is also applicable to Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.
The ILP regime is applicable under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. In terms of Section 2 of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, citizens of other states require ILP for visiting these states.
The main objective of the ILP system is to prevent the settlement of other Indian nationals in these states to protect the indigenous population. (PTI)