SHILLONG, Oct 29 - Leader of Opposition in the Meghalaya Assembly, Mukul Sangma, today said the State Government should enact the Meghalaya State Residents’ Safety and Security Act (MRSSA) immediately and amend it later if the need arises.
Sangma pointed out that the MRSSA has been formulated after an exhaustive discussion with several stakeholders over the years and the present State Government should, therefore, implement the Act.
“The principal Act has been meticulously formulated based on exhaustive discussion and deliberations, keeping in mind the safety and security concerns of all the people,” Sangma said.
He added that the objective of the Act is to ensure that every resident of the State feels secure in his or her neighbourhood. “It is not only the issue of illegal immigrants, but also about criminals who may be staying in your neighbourhood,” the former Chief Minister and Congress leader said.
Different sections of the Act, particularly sections 17 and 18, empower the State to differentiate visitors from other infiltrators like illegal immigrants or criminals, he said.
Sangma added that the Government should immediately implement the Act, which can be amended for improvement or strengthening at later stages. Stating that even the Constitution has been amended several times, Sangma said that he sees no reason why the present Government should delay in implementing the Act.
Citing that the Act can be a deterrent to illegal migration and influx, the Leader of Opposition maintained that even those countries which have stringent immigration laws have faltered and found that they need to do more.
The USA, the UK and other European countries face the issue of uncontrolled illegal immigration and have been finding ways and means to frame appropriate legislative mandates, Sangma added.