Demand for Inner Line Permit gains momentum in Meghalaya after CAA

Demand for Inner Line Permit gains momentum in Meghalaya after CAA

IANS Photo

Shillong, March 19 (IANS) Following the enactment of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the demand to introduce Inner Line Permit (ILP) has gained a fresh momentum in Meghalaya.

Although, CAA does not apply to the major portion of the hill state, different citizens’ groups have demanded to introduce ILP in Meghalaya to check influx of “infiltrators”.

The president of Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC) in Meghalaya, Roy Kupar Synrem told IANS, “Despite the tribal areas being exempted from CAA, the fact remains that the whole state of Meghalaya is not under the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India. There are still parts of Shillong City, the state capital, where the Sixth Schedule regulations do not apply and where a sizable immigrant population lives.”

He said that individuals living in other places may migrate to these areas and then apply for citizenship under CAA.

Synrem said, “We are also concerned that Meghalaya will be affected by the spillover from the other states, especially from Assam. We worry that the exemption will be ineffective and that there may be an unjustified influx of people into the state if there is no legislation controlling the movement of people into the state.”

According to him, the only defence against this spillover effect is the immediate introduction of the ILP system along with the complete exemption of CAA in Meghalaya.

Three citizen bodies in Meghalaya -- Hynniewtrep Youth Council (HYC), Jaintia National Council (JNC) and Confederation of Ri Bhoi People (CORP) -- submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to bring ILP in the state.

Notably, following the passage of CAA in Parliament in December 2019, Meghalaya state Legislative Assembly passed a resolution to introduce ILP in the state. However, the matter is still pending with the Union Home Ministry.

In August previous year, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and placed the ILP demand. He had said, “To protect our indigenous people, we need ILP in the state. I have apprised the Prime Minister about this and he listened patiently about our concern.”

Many citizen bodies, student organisations have been demanding the introduction of ILP in Meghalaya for the last few years.

ILP is an official travel document issued for movement in some areas for a limited period. People need ILP to travel to four northeastern states --Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur.