"We have sought the Governor's intervention into the law and order situation to stop it from spiralling out of control as the state government cannot handle it effectively," MPF secretary James Sangma told journalists.

The MPF delegation, headed by leader of the Opposition Donkupar Roy, also handed a memorandum to Paul demanding a probe into the unholy nexus between the members of the ruling Congress-led government and the insurgents.

"It is an admitted fact that the morale of the police force has been badly eroded by this nexus making their task of policing a Herculean one," Sangma said, adding that the law and order situation has also drawn the attention of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, unprecedented in the case of an otherwise peaceful state like Meghalaya.

At least 46 people, including nine security personnel, have lost their lives to insurgency-related activities since January in Garo Hills region. While in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills region, the state witnessed several cases of arson since September 2 after talks between Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and pro-Inner Line Permit (ILP) pressure groups hit a dead end.

Expressing concern over the ‘indifferent attitude’ of the government for not inviting the agitating pressure groups, demanding introduction of the Inner Line Permit (ILP), for talks, MPF spokesperson Paul Lyngdoh said, "Common people are sandwiched between the government and the pressure groups, the law and order situation has affected the state's economy and education."

More than 80 pro-ILP activists have been arrested. The statewide agitation has already claimed the lives of two citizens, while the condition of tea stall owner Bisheshwar Das, 45, set ablaze by unidentified assailants, is still critical.

Fourteen organizations, including the KSU, the Federation of Khasi, Jaintia, Garo People and the Hynniewtrep National Youth Front, while demanding the introduction of the ILP system, say that its absence would result in unchecked migration to Meghalaya, given the state's proximity to Bangladesh and Assam.

ILP is an official travel document issued by the union government allowing inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected/restricted area for a limited period.

It is obligatory for Indian citizens from outside those states like Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland to obtain a permit for entering the protected state.

However, Mukul Sangma has ruled out re-introduction of the ILP to check illegal migrants from Bangladesh but has promised strict laws to curb infiltration.

(Agencies)

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