State

MDA role limited on ILP, language issue: CM

Shillong, July 4: After a protest by Hynniewtrep National Achik Movement ,(HANM) infront of secretariat demanding the implementation of ILP on Monday, Chief Minister Conrad  Sangma said issues related to implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) and inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the 8th Schedule to the Constitution of India are beyond the state government’s jurisdiction.

The NGO was also unhappy with MDA handling the border dispute.

According to Sangma, the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance ( MDA) government has been the most proactive when it comes to the issues of ILP, languages and the boundary dispute with Assam.

He said things have not happened for 50 years until the MDA took over.

He added that the MDA is the first government which had taken bold decisions to pass resolutions for implementation of the ILP and inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the 8th Schedule.

“But at the end of the day as I said whether it is 8th Schedule or whether it is ILP these are facts that require a lot of push, a lot of lobbying and these are things beyond the Meghalaya government’s jurisdiction in one way,” Sangma said.

He pointed out that in terms of border issue, they were the first ones who visited the site and came to the conclusion and managed to come to an agreement with Assam government in the presence of the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and officials and they managed to resolve the issue.”

While acknowledging the concerns of the NGOs and the public, the chief minister said the the public at large has seen the commitment shown by the government on all these three factors. “I think the public will judge and the public at large know how we have taken these three issues with highest and top priority,” he said.

Surprise protest 

Earlier in the day, the activists of HANM staged a surprise protest infront of the secretariat against the government’s delay to implement the long pending demands of the people of the state and its failure to address the grievances of the teachers.

HNAM president Lamphrang Kharbani condemned the government for forcing the teachers to sleep on the streets.

“We ask the MDA government not to play with the future of the students, we need teachers back to school. Implement the demands of the teachers immediately,” he said.

“Today is just the beginning, we will be compelled to come to the streets even if there is a law and order breakdown”, he added.

He said the HNAM also demanded the government to ensure immediate implementation of the ILP, inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages, relocation of Harijan Colony from Them Iew Mawlong, and resolving the boundary dispute with Assam without compromising tribal lands, before 2023.

He said 50 years have passed yet not even a single demand of the people was achieved.

“This shows that the ministers have failed to push these demands and when they go to Delhi, they are only interested to request for developmental projects for the state,” Kharbani said.

He added that  Manipur got its ILP only within two weeks of protest but Meghalaya despite the fact that ILP has been here since British rule, it is yet to be implemented.

Later, HANM continued its protest at additional secretariat parking lot (see picture)

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