Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Kongkal Sangma’s suggestion to issue work permits for Bangladeshis to address the challenge of infiltration has met steep opposition.
The Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP) and Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYP) have objected to the idea, saying this would encourage an influx of immigrants. On Wednesday, they asked the government to initiate the National Register of Citizens (NRC) process in the state.
Issuing a joint memorandum to the Meghalaya chief minister, the organisations said: “If your government is admitting to the presence of a large number of foreign nationals in the state, we suggest that your government initiate the NRC in Meghalaya and deport all foreign nationals.”
Led by FKJGP President Wellbert Rani and HNYF General Secretary Sadon K Blah, both organisations said the work permit idea floated by the Meghalaya chief minister could be seen as an admission by the government that a substantial number of Bangladeshis were present in Meghalaya.
The organisations sought clarification on the modus operandi of granting work permits to foreigners in Meghalaya, as the Meghalaya Interstate Migrant Workmen Act seeks to protect the employment rights of locals.
The organisations observed that granting work permits to Bangladeshis would directly result in the unemployment of locals.