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  • 28 December, 2020

  • 6 Min Read

Inner Line Permit - NE India- Manipur issue

Inner Line Permit – UPSC

According to the Constitution of India, all Indian citizens are free to live and work in any state of the country, but entry to certain states with a protected status requires authorisation by the concerned state government i.e special permissions are required to visit these areas. Such a permit authorising an Indian citizen to enter a protected area is referred to as an 'inner line permit' as it grants entry to areas lying between the international boundary and the so-called "Inner Line" of the country.

About ILP

  • The ILP is an official travel document issued by the concerned state government to allow travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period.
  • It is obligatory for the citizens from outside those states to obtain a permit for entering into the protected state.
  • The objective behind this is to prevent settlement of other Indian nationals in ILP states so as to protect the indigenous population and their access to land, jobs, and other facilities.
  • Besides Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Nagaland also come under the ILP system.

History of ILP

  • ILP is a concept drawn by colonial rulers, the Inner Line separated the tribal-populated hill areas in the Northeast from the plains.
  • To enter and stay for any period in these areas, Indian citizens from other areas need an Inner Line Permit (ILP).
  • The concept originates from the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act (BEFR), 1873.
  • The policy of exclusion first came about as a response to the reckless expansion of British entrepreneurs into new lands which threatened British political relations with the hill tribes.
  • The BEFR prohibits an outsider’s — “British subject or foreign citizen” — entry into the are beyond the Inner Line without a pass and his purchase of land there.
  • On the other hand, the Inner Line also protects the commercial interests of the British from the tribal communities.
  • After Independence, the Indian government replaced “British subjects” with “Citizens of India”.
  • Today, the main aim of the ILP system is to prevent the settlement of other Indian nationals in the States where the ILP regime is prevalent, in order to protect the indigenous/tribal population.

States which require ILP

  • Arunachal Pradesh — Issued by the secretary (political) of the Government of Arunachal Pradesh. It is required for entering Arunachal Pradesh through any of the check gates across the interstate border with Assam or Nagaland. An ILP for temporary visitors is valid for 7 days and can be extended, while one for those taking employment in the state and their immediate family members is valid for a year. The Arunachal Pradesh government is planning to implement a permit-on-arrival system.
  • Mizoram — Issued by the Government of Mizoram. It is required for entering Mizoram through any of the check gates across the inter-State borders. Typically, a "Temporary ILP" is issued to visitors, which is valid for 7 days and can be extended another 15 days, with the possibility of extending it to one month in exceptional circumstances. However, with the sponsorship of a local resident or government department, a "Regular ILP" can be procured, which is valid for 6 months and can be renewed twice for another 6 months each. If arriving by air, an ILP can be obtained on arrival at Lengpui Airport in Aizawl.
  • Nagaland — Issued by the Government of Nagaland. The Regulation makes it obligatory for anyone, both Indian Citizen and Foreigner, who is not an indigenous inhabitant of Nagaland, to obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP) in such form, and with such conditions, as may be prescribed by the Government of Nagaland, to enter the state of Nagaland for a limited period.
  • Manipur — Issued by the Government of Manipur. The Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime was extended to Manipur on 11 December 2019 with President Ram Nath Kovind signing the order to this effect. The decision comes two days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced in Lok Sabha that the ILP would be extended to the northeastern state. Manipur is the fourth state after Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram where the ILP regime is applicable.
  • An ILP was previously required for certain parts of the Leh district in Ladakh. This requirement was abolished by a circular issued by the district magistrate which took effect from 1 May 2014, although foreign nationals are required to get Protected Area Permit for this region. But the ILP was implemented again in Leh in 2017. There are also ongoing demands for the introduction of ILP in Meghalaya, Assam and Andaman and Nicobar Islands to regulate the entry of outsiders into the state.

Source: Hindustan Times

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