According to reports, the Khasi Students Union (KSU) have set up infiltration check gates at various checkpoints along Ri Bhoi, East Jaintia Hills and West Khasi Hills. They claim to have apprehended as many as 1000 illegal immigrants on Tuesday alone.
The alleged illegal immigrants were apparently travelling in trucks when they were apprehended. KSU President, Lambokstarwell Marngar, said, “More than 1000 suspected illegal immigrants were detected along the National Highways and the people did not possess any documents and their plan was to come to Meghalaya.”
Marngar also asserted that there was “a heated argument with the Police” over the matter. “There was a heated argument with the police. However, later the district administration assured to allow our members to conduct checking at Byrni where the government check gate is located. If it is not effective, we will continue checking on our own,” Marngar said. Marngar also said that there was a serious concern of illegal immigrants entering Meghalaya as 40 lakh people have not been included in the NRC list in Assam.
Over 200 alleged illegal immigrants were detected at the check gate at Pahammawlein, 20 Mile, in Ri Bhoi. As per KSU General Secretary, Donald Thabah, more than 1000 illegal immigrants attempted to enter the state from Barak Valley. The checkpoint was set up at Ratacherra in East Jaintia Hills. In West Khasi Hills, the checkpoint was set up at Athiabari. President of the KSU unit in the district, John Fisher Nongsieng, rued the fact that “there is no mechanism to tackle influx in the district or the state”.
He claimed, “Unlike in other states which have implemented the Inner Line Permit outsiders will easily enter our state, especially West Khasi Hills bordering Assam. So the union has to erect an infiltration check gate as the government did not pay attention to our demand.”
According to the NRC, as many as 40 lakh people among the total of 3.29 crore population of Assam were potential illegal immigrants in India. Opposition parties have perceived it as an opportunity to score one over the BJP and made inflammatory remarks while the Government, and the Army on various occasions, has maintained that illegal immigrants pose a serious threat to the demography and security of the country.