Shillong, Sep 10: The four-day night road blockade called by various Meghalaya groups demanding introduction of Inner Line Permit (ILP) system to regulate entry of outsiders into state began Tuesday evening amid tight security.
The blockade – from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. in all the 11 districts – affected movement of vehicles on National Highways 40 and 44, the lifelines for landlocked Mizoram, Tripura and parts of Manipur and southern Assam. In Shillong, streets wore a deserted look with most business establishments shutting down.
“Adequate security have been made on the national highways to ensure movement of vehicles and to prevent any untoward incident,” said Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Y.C. Modi.
There has been no report of any major incident barring stone pelting on vehicles till 9 p.m.
To deal with the situation, the Meghalaya government has sought 12 additional companies of central forces, Principal Secretary (Home) K.S. Kropha told IANS
There has been a spate of violence in Meghalaya after 10 groups including the powerful Khasi Students’ Union, the Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People and the Hynniewtrep National Youth Front launched agitations over the last fortnight demanding ILP system be introduced.
Indian citizens need ILPs – issued by the state governments under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 – to enter Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.
Opposition political parties such as the United Democratic Party, the Hill State People’s Democratic Party, the National People’s Party, and so on had demanded the introduction of ILP during the recent all-party meet convened by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma to check influx of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
However, Sangma described the ILP concept as “outdated” and ruled it out.
But the groups maintained they would continue with their agitation till the government agrees to their demand.