Shillong: A legislator in Meghalaya on Monday alleged that non-indigenous people were marrying tribal girls in the state with the sole intention of evading various taxes.
“Non-indigenous people are marrying local girls in order to evade tax,” Saleng A Sangma, an independent legislator, said during Question Hour in the assembly, and asked the government not to count such people as tribals.
However, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma informed the assembly that it would be difficult for the government to know the intention of a non-indigenous person marrying a local girl.
“It’s a question of how to determine the intention of a person. But this issue needs to be discussed at the social level and come up with an acceptable solution,” Sangma replied.
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Legislator Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit of the opposition Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), said people coming from other parts of India should not be given a chance to dictate the political and social affairs of the state by giving them voting rights.
“There are those who come to the state for commercial purposes, there are those who come here to stay permanently. Then there are those who marry local girls and assimilate and those who come to the state to commit crimes,” he said.
Earlier, the chief minister informed the house that 26,426 illegal migrants have been detected in the state in the last 10 years.
Sangma said 24,932 have been pushed back directly, 1,429 deported and 1,494 prosecuted from 2006 to 2015.
He said the state government has made all efforts to curb infiltration from across the international border as well as across the inter-state borders.
Sangma said legislations like the Meghalaya Land Transfer Act 1971, United Khasi-Jaintia Hills District (Trading By Non Tribal) Regulation, 1954 and State Reservation Policy were already in place to protect the indigenous tribals.
He said the government has constituted two committees — headed by Deputy Chief Minister Rowell Lyngdoh and top police official S.K. Jain — to examine the Benami Act and reframing of the Tenancy Bill and setting up of facilitation centres at the entry and exit points.
“Both the committees have completed the assigned tasks and submitted reports,” he said.
Sangma informed the assembly that the government has decided to create an anti-infiltration directorate to deal with the problem of illegal infiltration.