Enroll only bonafide state residents: NGOs



Shillong: Ahead of the all party meeting on "dubious" voters on Tuesday, tribal NGOs on Monday petitioned the Meghalaya government and the political parties to enroll only "bonafide residents" of the state.

The NGOs under the umbrella of Social Organisations of Meghalaya against Land Alienation said, "those who acquired land in Meghalaya in contravention to the provisions of the Meghalaya Transfer of Land Regulation Act, 1971, are not legal land holders and such lands are considered void, enforceable by any court of law."

"As such, there is no justification for the illegal resident of Meghalaya to be enrolled as voters and they should be deleted from the electoral roll," SOMALA convener W Anthony said.

In a letter to Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and the leaders of other political parties, Anthony said, "all persons above 18 years of age and who settled in Meghalaya for any period of time in contravention to the provision of the Act cannot be given the benefit of enrollment in the electoral roll."

According to the SOMALA, "such enrolments violate the local land laws and is also contrary to the principle of protection safeguarding the economic growth of tribals within the scheduled areas mandated by the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India."

The state government has convened an all party meeting tomorrow to discuss on the enrolment drives of "dubious" voters in Meghalaya to bring an end to the stalemate between the government and the agitating NGOs.

The NGOs had announced several agitation programmes to pressure the government to put on hold the enrolment drives which, they claimed, "facilitate" enrolment of dubious voters.

The state government has convened an all party meeting tomorrow to discuss on the enrolment drives of "dubious" voters in Meghalaya to bring an end to the stalemate between the government and the agitating NGOs.

Influential NGOs including the Khasi Students Union demanded the complete halt of enrolment drives of eligible voters and such drives should be held at the traditional village level, at the dorbars, if necessary.

The NGOs had announced several agitational programmes to pressure the government to put on hold the enrolment drives which the NGOs said "facilitate" enrolment of dubious voters.

PTI