Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday announced that the state of Manipur will come under the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system. "We are including Manipur in the Inner Line Permit system. This big issue has now been resolved. I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi on behalf of people of Manipur for fulfilling this long-standing demand," Shah said in the lower house of Parliament.
Reacting to the development, Manipur CM N. Biren Singh took to Twitter and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for exempting Manipur from the purview of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 and bringing in Inner Line Permit system to the State.
I on behalf of people of Manipur wholeheartedly thank the Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi ji and Hon’ble Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah ji for exempting Manipur from the purview of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 by bringing in Inner Line Permit system to the State. pic.twitter.com/hH0xAlHzmu— N.Biren Singh (@NBirenSingh) December 9, 2019
“I on behalf of people of Manipur wholeheartedly thank the Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi ji and Hon’ble Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah ji for exempting Manipur from the purview of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 by bringing in Inner Line Permit system to the State,” CM Biren Singh tweeted.
Earlier in the day, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh said he had been assured by Union Home Minister Amit Shah that Inner Line Permit (ILP) system would be introduced in the state.
Singh urged people to thank the central government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for its initiative “to protect the indigenous communities” of the state. The state home department has announced half-day holiday at all government offices on the occasion.
ILP is an official travel document issued by the government to grant inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period. The contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, tabled in Lok Sabha, has exempted tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and areas covered under The Inner Line, notified under Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.
“Our constant apprehension that influx of outsiders will marginalise the indigenous communities has now been put to rest,” the chief minister said. With ILP implementation in the state, protests against the citizenship bill would also end, he hoped.
Taking to Twitter, the CM said, “People of Manipur has come out on the street to thank Hon’ble PM @narendramodi ji and Home Minister @AmitShah ji in advance expecting announcement of ILP extension to Manipur state & thus excluding from any CAB fallout.”
The ILP regime is curently applicable in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.
Meanwhile, MANPAC, an organization that has been vehemently opposing the legislation, expressed surprise over the CM’s announcement, claiming that it was too early to rejoice as Shah had only given verbal assurance.
“It isn’t time yet for the state to celebrate... We will rejoice once the Parliament gives its approval,” Ningthouja Lancha, the spokesperson of Manipur People against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, said.
This move is another attempt by the Narendra Modi government to allay concerns of Northeast states regarding the Citizenship Amendment Bill which seeks to provide Indian nationality to non-Muslims fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
What is an Inner Line Permit?
An Inner Line Permit is an official travel document required by Indian citizens to visit or stay in states and regions where it is applicable. Indian citizens who do not belong to these regions need to have the document to visit or stay in regions placed under the ILP system, which aims to protect the interests of the indigenous tribal communities of the Northeast.