Other States

Vigilante form of Inner Line Permit being enforced in Meghalaya

File photo shows Guwahati-Shillong highway. ILP is an official travel document allowing inward travel of an Indian citizen to a protected area for a limited period.

File photo shows Guwahati-Shillong highway. ILP is an official travel document allowing inward travel of an Indian citizen to a protected area for a limited period.   | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

Local organisation says it has nabbed 100 from Assam without valid documents

Meghalaya is yet to come under the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime unlike Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland, but that has not stopped a local organisation from “implementing” the British-era permit’s vigilante version.

Issued under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations of 1873 by the State governments concerned, the ILP is an official travel document allowing inward travel of an Indian citizen to a protected area for a limited period.

Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) had made the Meghalaya Assembly – the BJP is a minor partner in the alliance government headed by the National People’s Party – adopt a resolution in favour of ILP in December 2019. But officials are awaiting a meeting with the Ministry of Home Affairs to take the issue forward.

The sub-nationalist Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) has, however, claimed that it used its own ILP to catch at least 100 people from Assam who entered Meghalaya without valid documents.

“Our members checked these people at Bhoirymbong (Ri-Bhoi district) on Monday and found them to be illegal migrants who came to Meghalaya for work,” HYC’s vice-president Donboklang Kharlyngdoh said.

Appreciating the locals for their vigilantism that helped them locate the “illegal migrants”, Mr. Kharlyngdoh justified the “unauthorised” checking of documents. “We will take the law in our hands if the government continues to delay the inevitable,” he said.

Police in Ri-Bhoi district declined to comment and only said “we shall look into it”.

ILP has been in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland since their creation. The other north-eastern States demanded this regulation as a mechanism to counter public anger against the CAA. Only Manipur has been granted the authority to issue ILP from January 1 this year.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 8:37:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/vigilante-form-of-inner-line-permit-being-enforced-in-meghalaya/article30682644.ece

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