Carry your identity cards proving their citizenship with them at all times, Meghalaya Police has advised to visitors.
“Due to the situation and as mandated as per law, visitors to the state should always carry citizenship proof to avoid detention at the infiltration check gates,” anti-infiltration superintendent of police Debangshu Sangma said.
Seven anti-infiltration check gates have been set up along the Assam-Meghalaya border following the release of the updated draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the neighbouring state. The check gates are being currently manned by the anti-infiltration unit of the police.
There have been recent reports that people from Assam were detained at the anti-infiltration check gates by student union members, particularly following the release of the NRC draft on July 30. The anti-infiltration officer, while admitting that there have been stray incidents of people being stopped at the border, refuted a claim by Khasi Students Union (KSU) that over 1500 ‘doubtful’ citizens were detained by their activists at the check gates.
“It is not a fact. The number of people who were stopped and sent back at the infiltration check gates is less than a 100 over the past three days,” he said.
Sangma said the highest number of detentions were reported from East Jaintia Hills and Ri-Bhoi, which districts have regular connectivity of inter-state buses and taxis with Guwahati and other states like Mizoram and Tripura. At least 29 doubtful citizens were denied entry to East Jaintia Hills district till Tuesday and a similar figure was reported from Ri-Bhoi district as well, he said.
The anti-infiltration chief also said few doubtful citizens are entering the state in view of the scarcity of jobs. The SP also said anti-infiltration units have been beefed up and the police are backing these efforts wherever there are inter-state boundary crossings.
The KSU and Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) have also demanded an NRC-like exercise in Meghalaya in order to determine the number of genuine citizens staying in the state in the interests of the indigenous tribal communities.