The Meghalaya government on Friday introduced an ordinance that makes registration on entry mandatory for visitors who intend to spend more than 24 hours in the state, The Times of India reported on Saturday. Employees of the central and state governments have been exempted from the new rule.
The Meghalaya government approved the draft amendment to the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act, 2016, to include the provision for registration, amid demands for an Inner Line Permit system to stop “illegal immigration” into the state. The Act was previously applicable only to tenants.
The Inner Line Permit is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to allow the travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period. It is currently in force in Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.
Meghalaya was one of the first states to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which seeks to grant Indian citizenship to those fleeing religious persecution in other countries. The Bharatiya Janata Party is a constituent of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance cabinet.
“This amendment to the existing Act in the form of an Ordinance will come into force immediately,” Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said according to The Sentinel. “The Ordinance will be approved in the next session of the state Assembly.”
Tynsong also said that the permanent residents of the state should not worry about the new law. “It is only for those who come to the state as tourists, labourers, [and for] education and business purposes,” he said.
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