Meghalaya: Pro-ILP activist arrested for checking documents of migrant labourers

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Shillong, Jul 11 (PTI) A pro-ILP activist was arrested in Shillong on Thursday for unauthorisedly checking the documents of migrant labourers in Meghalaya, officials said.

The development comes a day after the Meghalaya Home Department filed four cases against pro-ILP activists in two districts for checking whether migrant labourers possessed requisite papers.

A pro-ILP activist was arrested from his residence in Shillong on Thursday. Three cases were filed against pro-ILP activists in the state capital on the previous day, they said.

One case under Section 126 (2) (wrongful restraint) under 351 (criminal intimidation) of Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita was registered in Ri-Bhoi district and three others in East Khasi Hills district, under which Shillong falls, the officials said.

"We have registered four cases against pro-ILP activists who had gone to check the registration of migrant labourers across the state," a senior home department official told PTI.

The state government has made it compulsory for migrant labourers to mandatorily register with the Labour Department under various Sections of the Interstate Workmen Act 1979 and the Meghalaya Identification, Registration (Safety & Security) of Migrant Workers Rules 2020.

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has said that although mandatory registration is required for all migrant labourers, no individual or organisation is authorised to check the papers of such workers.

"No individual or organisation is authorised to check the papers of the migrant workers. If they do so, they are on the wrong side of the law and the police are taking action," he said.

On the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act (MRSSA), another Act to safeguard the interests of the indigenous people of the state, Sangma said the Bill was sent by the Governor to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which returned it with suggestions to make some amendments.

The Khasi Students' Union is one of the many organisations demanding the implementation of the Inner Line Permit in the hill state.

The ILP is a special permit required by residents of other parts of the country to enter and stay for a specified period in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Manipur.

The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly had also unanimously passed a resolution urging the Centre to consider extending the implementation of the ILP in Meghalaya in 2019 and is awaiting the Centre's nod.

KSU claimed that despite the presence of the state police's infiltration check gates at the various entry points into the state, it had detected over 300 migrant labourers without registration.

Last week, KSU activists erected an ILP check gate at Byrnihat which was brought down by the Ri-Bhoi district administration.

"Over 300 illegal labourers have been detected across the state as our members have gone to check if the labourers engaged by the contractors in big construction sites have requisite papers," KSU president L Marngar said.

The KSU leader said the organisation will intensify their checking and will not cow down just because cases were filed against its members. PTI JOP ACD