GUWAHATI: Manipur has come under the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime.
The law under Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 was implemented across the state on Wednesday. The ILP has been in force in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh for the past many years.
The ILP is a travel document which a non-native is required to carry while he or she is travelling to any of the states where it is enforced. It permits stay only for a limited period and the basic reason behind its implementation was to protect indigenous tribal cultures.
Groups and organisations in Manipur view the ILP as a shield to tackle the influx of illegal immigrants. They were fighting to secure it for several years.
Last month, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had issued a notification stating that people willing to visit Manipur would require an ILP from now on. Subsequently, the authorities in Manipur government received 330 applications for the ILP. Of them, 163 permits were issued on the first day on Wednesday from four counters located at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport, Mao Gate, Moreh and Jiribam.
According to a gazette notification which the Manipur government issued on December 31, four types of ILPs, such as special category permit, regular permit, temporary permit and labour permit, will be issued. Those applying for a special category permit, to be issued for three years, will be required to pay a fee of Rs.5000. The renewal fee will be Rs.10000.
The influential Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) welcomed the state being covered under the ILP.
“For decades, the indigenous people of Manipur had demanded the ILP. Its extension to Manipur implies the exemption of the state from the purview of Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Although we feel the ILP is not the complete solution or mechanism to control the influx of immigrants, yet it is considered as a tool to at least tackle the issue in some ways,” Laishram Athouba, a spokesperson of COCOMI, told this newspaper.
At the same time, he said if the Centre was serious about protecting the interests of indigenous people of the Northeast, it should entirely exempt the region from the CAA’s purview.