Inner Line Permit (ILP) is permission approved to any person who is non-tribal and wants to enter the tribal region for tourism or any other purpose. The person can stay in the areas only by the terms and conditions of the permit guaranteed to him and only for the period specified in the permit given to him.
Earlier according to Section 2 of the Regulation of 1873, the ILP was only applicable to the three North Eastern States i.e. Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland. The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind signed the order extending the ILP to Manipur, which will become the fourth state where the ILP regime is applicable. The Inner Line Permit is being used to protect such areas from the purview of the Citizens (Amendment) Act, 2019.
This procedure was started during the British era, and still, it is continued. These tribal areas were underdeveloped and needed a strong administration system, that will help in the development of these areas while protecting them from exploitation and help in preserving their social customs.
What is the Inner Line Permit (ILP)?
ILP is a document like a visa, it is issued by the Government of India for a specific period. It was introduced by the British Government in the Bengal East Frontier Regulations, 1873, in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and now recently Manipur became the fourth state under ILP. It was introduced to stop people from the plain area from exploiting the wealth in these states. After gaining independence from Britishers, in 1950, the Government of India changed this rule and announced that ILP is a regime to protect the indigenous population of these states.
This permit allows Indian citizens to go and live in any state for a specific period protected under Inner Line Permit. The permit allows a person to stay there for six months after that any person is entitled to renew his permit if he is not a native in these states despite the despite that he is a long-term resident. This permit also provides the movement to certain areas located near the international borders of India.
On December 17, 2019, the Meghalaya cabinet had approved a resolution to bring the state under ILP (under the Bengal East Frontier Regulations,1873). The people of Meghalaya are also demanding a law similar to ILP to protect the interest of the indigenous population of the state. The enactment of Inner Line Permit for the same is also applied by Assam and Sikkim.
In 2014, ILP was removed by Ladakh, and late in 2017 they implemented ILP again. The validity of the permit is 14 days. There is no limit on the number of times to visit a place within a valid period as long as there are necessary permits with the traveler. The ILP is issued by the Leh Ladakh administration.
Who Issues ILP?
The permit is allowed by the states that are coming under the protection of ILP. It can be issued either by applying online or directly from the government office. The ILP document contains travel details like – Travel dates, for how long the person is willing to stay, and the specific areas that the holder is willing to travel in the state.
In every state, there is a different process to get ILP-
The Inner Line Permit is issued by the secretary of the Government of the state. The permit for temporary visitors is valid for 7 days and can be extended. The permit is required for entering the state from any of the check gates across the interstate border with Assam or Nagaland.
The Government of Mizoram issues the permit, which is required for entering the state from any of the check gates across the interstate border, like Arunachal Pradesh. The validity of the permit is 7 days from the date of issue and can further be extended to 15 days. In some exceptional cases it can be extended for one month. The government also Issues the ‘Regular ILP’ which means the ILP can be procured for about six months with the sponsorship of a local resident or Government department. The regular ILP can be renewed twice for another six months.
The Government of Nagaland issues the ILP permit. The government has prescribed different requirements, for the different categories of ILP like tourists, labor, traders, teachers, etc. The government has provided the facility of Online ILP to ease the process.
If any Foreigners need to visit tourist places in these states, they need a Protected Area Permit (PAP) which is a different document from Inner Line Permits needed by the domestic tourists.
The Relation between ILP and Citizenship Amendment Bill
The North-Eastern state has shown the resistance to Citizens Amendment Bill. The areas which are protected under the 6th schedule of the constitution and states with the ILP system won’t be part of the Citizens Amendment Bill. Due to Inner Line Permit restrictions, which are already in place, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill would not have applied to these states anyway.
6th Schedule of the Constitution of India
This schedule provides the administration for the tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram to safeguard the rights of the tribal population in these states. Under Article 244(2) and Article 275(1) of the Constitution, special provisions are given to the states.
The Sixth Schedule was formulated to provide the limited autonomy to the tribal regions of North-East, passed by the Constituent Assembly in 1949. It was based on the reports of a committee formed by the Constituent Assembly known as the ‘Bardoloi committee’. There is a need for a system of administration that would allow tribal areas to become developed, the committee stated in their report. It gives the tribal freedom to exercise legislative and executive powers through an autonomous regional council and autonomous district councils (ADCs).
When Meghalaya gained protection under ILP, Assam also applied for the same. So, the state can preserve and protect their customs and people from being exploited. As Assam comes under Schedule 6 of the constitution and after gaining the ILP system it will strengthen the administrative power and protect the people from interference.
Author: AYUSH CHOUBEY,
Jagran Lakecity University, 1st Year