GUWAHATI: Pressure groups in Meghalaya and Manipur have stepped up the demand for the implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the two states.
The idea is to check the migration of “outsiders”, mainly the illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. In the North-East, ILP is in force in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. It is obligatory for Indian nationals from outside the three states to obtain the ILP for entering these states.
“Our demand dates back to 1979, but despite a series of agitations, the ILP has not been implemented in Meghalaya. We believe that we can curb the influx of outsiders only by implementing ILP in the state,” Daniel Khyriem, president of the influential Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), told Express.
“Lakhs of illegal Bangladeshi migrants are coming to Meghalaya in the guise of labourers. We have seen them trying to register their names on the e-rolls. Some come with documents to prove they are Indian citizens but those documents are not valid in Meghalaya. Some come without any documents,” he said.
The Meghalaya government has set up some committees to deal with the issue. The KSU also called for the Indo-Bangladesh border to be sealed without any further delay. Four states of the region, including Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura, share borders with Bangladesh, many parts of which are still unfenced.
In Manipur, the issue is more about safeguarding land than anything else. “Manipur is under a demographic imbalance. So, we desperately need the ILP to safeguard the land of indigenous people,” said Ibotombi Khuman of Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS), an umbrella organisation of 35 civil society organisations.