Meghalaya sends back 223 people to Assam after NRC

Stating that the state government was taking the matter very seriously, the statement said more than 30 check gates, check-posts and checkpoints have been set up in different districts to prevent "infiltration" by those left out of the NRC. (AFP File Photo)

Fearing "infiltration" of those left out of the NRC, the Meghalaya Police have sent back 223 people to Assam since the final list was released on August 31.

"The outsiders detected so far were sent back directly to their place of origin since they could not produce original valid documents. They have been asked to carry original document when they visit the state next time," the Meghalaya government said in a statement tabled in the state Assembly on Tuesday.

Stating that the state government was taking the matter very seriously, the statement said more than 30 check gates, check-posts and checkpoints have been set up in different districts to prevent "infiltration" by those left out of the NRC.

"After the declaration of the NRC in Assam on August 31, the government has alerted all field units to maintain a strict vigil on a 24-hour basis. Instructions were issued to conduct checking comprehensively and not to allow anyone coming from Assam without sufficient proof of documents," it said.

The statement was tabled a day after Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma told Union Home Minister Amit Shah here that people of Meghalaya were under fear of possible infiltration of those left out of the NRC. "Being the immediate neighbour, there is fear of infiltration of those to be identified as foreigners in Assam," he said at the meeting of North East Democratic Alliance here. 

The statement said four checkpoints have been set up in Ri-Bhoi district followed by four in East Jaintia Hills district, six in South West Khasi Hills, nine in North Garo Hills district and two in South West Garo Hills district. This may create panic among migrant workers from Assam, who are working in construction sites, coal mines and in other projects. 

An inspector general of police has been appointed as nodal officer to deal with issues related to infiltration, who will collect information from all districts on a daily basis. Anti-infiltration police squad has also been set up in the state. 

Over 19.06 lakh applicants were left out of the final list of NRC in Assam. The NRC is being updated with March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date to segregate citizens from "foreigners" from neighbouring Bangladesh.

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