There is no inside line permit for Assam, says Himanta Biswa Sarma

GUWAHATI: The Center will not restrict the entry of people to Assam, who are not native to the state under a law, commonly known as an internal line permit system (ILP), which is currently in effect in several northeastern states as a measure to protect the identities of indigenous peoples there.

The finance minister of Assam said: “There will be no ILP. How can Assam have the ILP system ... it can't? In fact, there is no proposal to the government for ILP in Assam. ”

Sarma explained that enforcing ILP in the state will only bring negative development. “How will work continue in Guwahati? Assam's unemployment figure will skyrocket three times if people can't come to tea gardens, Oil India Limited, ONGC ... if investors and traders can't come here. Assam is the gateway to the northeast and, then, how can there be ILP here?

Sarma added that even the MHA panel on the provision of constitutional, legislative and administrative guarantees to the identity of Assames, which recently submitted its report to the Prime Minister Sarbananda Sonowal , who in turn sent him to the Interior Minister Amit Shah , has not made any direct reference to ILP.

In my interaction with some panel members on a personal level, they told me that the committee has not made direct reference to the ILP system for the state, Sarma added.

The travel restriction system of a British law, the Eastern Bengal Border (BEFR) Regulation of 1873, entered into force in several areas of the state for 147 years until it was withdrawn by a presidential order in December 2019. In At present, the system is in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram. Recently, the system was extended to Manipur after mass protests against the CAA.

Only Assam, Meghalaya and are outside the scope of this regulation, but all anti-CAA forces in Assam, including the Union of Students of All Assam, want the ILP system to be restored as a measure to protect indigenous identity.

Many believe that the implementation of ILP in Assam was one of the panel's recommendations initially, but could have been eliminated after the Center's objection. The details of the report have been kept confidential, but Sarma's revelation that there is no mention of ILP in the report has angered.

The president of the student body, who is also a member of the MHA panel, said: WE members have agreed not to disclose the content of the report, but how someone says something about the report that quotes the members of the panel.

For AASU and other indigenous organizations in the state, ILP should be part of the safeguards for the Asians. The MHA panel report is concerned with suggesting measures to provide constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as appropriate, to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamean people, as prescribed in the Clause. 6 of the Assam Agreement.