Meghalaya MLAs concerned over influx of illegal migrants

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Shillong, Nov 10 (UNI) Cutting across party lines, legislators in Meghalaya today asked the government to adopt a strong mechanism to tackle the unabated influx of illegal Bangladeshi migrants in the state.

'' The unregulated inflow of illegal immigrants in the state is an alarming trend that could spiral out of control and threaten the very survival of our local tribal population,'' United Democratic Party (UDP) legislator Ardent M Basaiawmoit said.

Moving a motion on danger posed by influx on indigenous people of Meghalaya at the Assembly here, Mr Basaiawmoit criticized the government on the lacklustre approach to deal with this burning problem.

'' The question that comes to everyone's mind is whether Shillong or any others part of Meghalaya is next on the target list of sleeper cells of jihadi groups,'' he asked.

Suggesting the government to implement compulsory registration of marriage in line with the Supreme Court verdict, the UDP legislator said most of the non-tribal migrants married local women to avail other rights and privileges in the state.

'' The introduction of compulsory registration of marriage with provisions that any indigenous woman who marries a non-tribal be stripped of all rights under Scheduled Tribe status,'' he said.

The legislator also suggested that the Indo-Nepal Friendship Treaty should be exempted from Meghalaya to control the unabated influx of Nepalese citizens in the state.

Echoing the UDP legislator belonging from the ruling side, the opposition Congress legislators, too, asked the NCP-backed government to adopt strong mechanism to tackle the problem.

Admitting that the state has problems of influx of Bangladeshi migrants, Chief Minister Donkupar Roy, said the government has taken steps to curbs illegal migrants.

'' We have written to the Centre to extend the multi-purpose identity card that can help us in identifying and deporting illegal migrants,'' he said.

Dr Roy said the large-scale of influx was mainly due to demand for manual labour in construction and coal mines and other menial works particularly in those areas where local population are not interested in such vocations.

He added that the porous and easily negotiable of the international border was another advantage point for the migrants.

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