A day after drawing flak from various quarters for his proposal to give work permits to Bangladeshis, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma cleared the air over the issue saying that the proposal had been given with an aim to curb illegal migration.

Talking to Northeast Live Conrad Sangma said that in view of the proposed move to increase cooperation in trade and commerce with Bangladesh, it was important to put a mechanism in place to check illegal immigration. The Meghalaya Chief Minister asserted that his proposal for work permits for Bangladeshis was aimed at arresting illegal migration.

Sangma added that with increased trade and commerce with Bangladesh, movement of people from across the border will increase giving rise to the threat of illegal migration. Sangma said, under such circumstances it was important to put a mechanism in place to check influx.

Issuing work permits to Bangladeshis was one of the options to arrest influx, he said adding that this was not the only option and various others measures are under consideration.

Stating that it was a proposal made to the External Affairs Minister, Sangma assured that all the stakeholders will be taken into confidence before coming to a final decision on the issue.

Sangma’s proposal on issuing work permits to Bangladeshis drew sharp reactions in Meghalaya with various students’ bodies, civil rights groups and even politicians terming the bid improper and as a threat to the indigenous population of the state.

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