How is Inner Line Permit related to CAA?

How is Inner Line Permit related to CAA?

Representative image.

A Home Ministry-appointed committee on Monday suggested that 1951 should be the cut-off year for defining the indigenous people of Assam and the introduction of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) to control the movement of people from outside the state.

The panel suggested that the ILP should be introduced in Assam so that the movement of people from outside the state could be controlled.

The ILP, notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, has been in operation in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram for long and was introduced in Manipur in December 2019 following an uproar over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

What is Inner Line Permit?

Inner Line Permit is an official document issued by the state government that allows Indian citizens to travel to the state under IPL for a limited period of time. It is compulsory for the citizens from outside those states to issue the permit for entering into a protected state. Currently, the permit is required in states like Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and Mizoram. 

It is used in India to protect the indigenous communities in the Northeast and for the government to regulate and monitor the movement to certain areas near the international border of India. People can issue this document online or in person. The permits issued are different kinds that are provided separately to tourists, tenants and other purposes, for a different period of time.

Why was ILP created?

The ILP was originally created by the British in 1873, under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act. It was initially created to protect Britishers' commercial interests. The Act was implemented to bar 'British subjects' (Indians) to trade in those regions.

However, after independence, the Indian government continued it by replacing 'British subjects' to 'Citizens of India' in the Act.

How is ILP related to Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)?

Assam has been at the edge after the Citizenship Act was announced in Parliament. Assam Sahitya Sabha, the premier literary organisation in Assam, has been demanding the state to be brought under ILP.

However, three areas of Assam already come under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, that protects tribal areas. The government made it clear that the states under the ILP will be exempted from CAA.

Where the other states are protesting against the exclusion of Muslims in the CAA, Assam's concern is totally different. The protests in the northeastern state are centered on the provisions of CAB. The CAB has set the cut off date to recognise illegal immigrants as Dec 31, 2014, that violates the Assam Accord of 1985.

However, the refugees in the state will be barred to stay in Assam if it comes under ILP.

Assam and Tripura share the longest borders with Bangladesh and have been against the influx of illegal migrants coming from Bangladesh.
The 13-member panel report headed by Justice (Retd) Biplab Kumar Sharma is expected to be submitted to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah this week.

(With PTI inputs)
 

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