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NGOs flay Conrad�s work permit idea for Bangladeshis

By Biplab Kr Dey

TURA, April 6 - More NGOs from Garo Hills today joined in the clamour against the statement of Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma for his suggestion of issuing work permits to people from Bangladesh as a way of solving the problem of illegal infiltration.

Association for Democracy and Empowerment (ADE), Achik Youth Council and Achik Youth Welfare Organisation (AYWO) in separate statements today made it clear they oppose the proposal of the CM on the matter.

Conrad had proposed the idea of issuing work permits to Bangladeshis to solve the problem of illegal infiltration which met with immediate opposition from all quarters.

�We vehemently denounce this proposal and request the government to abstain from such suicidal approach. This proposal will defeat the �purpose� which has been maintained for so long by ADE and other NGOs in the State against influx and in favor of implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) system.

Instead of ILP, previous State Government promised the NGOs of Meghalaya that a comprehensive mechanism to check influx would be set up but nothing concrete has been done on the ground,� said ADE president, Dalseng Bira Ch Momin.

�Instead of pressurising the Centre to enforce a stringent law to contain influx and also to resolve the border disputes at the earliest, the government led by Conrad Sangma is of the idea of welcoming people from outside the country to work in the State,� said Momin.

Momin alleged that the modus operandi of Bangladeshi nationals was to overstay and try and marry a local woman to be a part of India.

Silkam Marak, AYWO chief organising secretary said the government should look at the implementation of ILP. �They should focus on pro-tribal policies for the State like setting up Entry/Exit points all over Meghalaya to contain the illegal inflow of outsiders into Meghalaya, the effective implementation of Land Transfer Act 1972, check all benami transactions and implementation of Meghalaya Benami Transaction Act, Meghalaya Residential Bill�, he added.

AYC president Silning D Sangma while expressing similar angst against the suggestion spoke of the employment problem in the State which is likely to be compounded if the CM�s suggestion of work permits to Bangladeshi nationals were to be implemented.

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