Supporters and activists of the Confederation of Meghalaya Social Organizations (CoMSO), the main pressure group leading a movement demanding implementation of an Inner Line Permit (ILP) in Meghalaya, held protests at the state secretariat today.
The ILP is a special travel permit that people from other states need to carry to enter Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur in the Northeast. The Meghalaya government had passed a resolution approving the Inner Line Permit in the state in 2019 but it has not been implemented yet.
Around 200 activists belonging to different organisations reached the secretariat today and started shouting slogans like "No ILP, No Rest" and "MDA government down down" against the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government in the state.
The protesters also staged a sit-in demonstration on the road which led to a traffic jam for nearly one hour near the secretariat.
CoMSO leader and Hynniewtrep Youth Council general secretary Roykupar Synrem said today's surprise protest was to send a strong warning to the state government not to take the people of the state "for a ride."
He said it has been more than a year since the official resolution was passed by the State Legislative Assembly but the centre is yet to give any commitment on whether the resolution will be accepted or not.
The CoMSO has also threatened to close down the secretariat if the state government fails to aggressively pursue the ILP demand with the centre.
"We have seen that the state government is also not taking this issue seriously. Therefore, we want to send this message to the state government that today we have come only 200-300 members of different organisations of the CoMSO and if it continues to take this issue lightly, a day will come that all citizens of the state will come in front of the secretariat and if needed, we will close down the secretariat," Mr Synrem said.