"They have agreed to study various laws which are already in existence. The contention of the government is that we are going to look at the existing laws, integrate them and also supplement them to arrive at an institutionalize mechanism to tackle the issue of influx and illegal immigration," Chief Minister Mukul Sangma told reporters after a two-hour-long meeting.
    
The suspension of agitation would bring in temporary relief in the state after unrest and violence since September 2 last year following the agitation of 13 pro-Inner Line Permit (ILP) groups.
    
Copies of the legislations passed in the past Assemblies would be made available to the pro-ILP groups, Sangma said, adding that the meeting was convened to send a clear message to the pressure groups that the state government had the political will to address the issue of influx.
    
"We will continue to engage both the state government and the NGOs to find a way forward and come up with a mechanism to have an end result," he added.     

"Copies of at least 52 existing legislative measures passed by the Assemblies in the past 40 years will be provided to us and we will study them before taking a final decision in the matter," Khasi Students' Union (KSU) president Daniel Khyriem said.

The KSU president, however, reiterated that the demand for implementing the ILP system in the state remained inconclusive in the meeting.
    
"The reasons behind our agreement to examine the existing laws do not mean that we are withdrawing our demand for implementation of the ILP," president of the Federation of Khasi-Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), one of the 13 NGOs, Joe Marwein, said.
    
"During the meeting, the NGOs have also sought more clarification from the government. The government has asked for more time to reply," he said.
    
Pro-ILP groups have also expressed their desire to have a legislation for the ILP which would not hamper development activities and tourism in the state, Marwein said.
    
Since September 2 last year, over 70 pro-ILP activists have been arrested.

(Agencies)

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