GUWAHATI: After Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, now Manipur will come under the inner line permit (ILP) regime.
A meeting of state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister N Biren Singh, on Sunday resolved that the ILP would be implemented in the state from January 1.
The state’s Rural Development Minister Th Biswajit said the state government was in the process of making the ILP system non-controversial. Stating that they are working on a “partial” draft on the ILP, he said the government would seek the views of experts before coming out with the final draft.
The ILP is a travel document which a non-native is required to carry while he or she is travelling any of the states where it is enforced. An offshoot of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873, the ILP permits stay only for a limited period. The basic reason behind its implementation was to protect indigenous tribal cultures.
Early this month, the Manipur CM had told journalists that Union Home Minister Amit Shah had assured him that the state would be brought under the ILP system. Just days later, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had issued a notification stating that people willing to visit Manipur would require an ILP.
The demand for ILP gathered momentum in parts of the Northeast following the passage of controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is now Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), in the Parliament.
Recently, the Meghalaya Assembly had unanimously passed a state cabinet resolution to implement the ILP in the state. The Centre said states and areas, protected by the ILP and the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, would be exempted from the purview of the amended Citizenship Act.
Given the threat posed by the new citizenship law, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) too is demanding ILP for Assam.
“If CAA is dangerous for states and areas which are protected by the ILP and the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, how can this be good for Assam? We want the government to implement the ILP in Assam,” AASU president Dipanka Nath said at a rally against CAA on Monday.