Inner Line Permit
Representative image

The Joint Committee on Prevention of Illegal Immigrants (JCPI) on Friday asked the Nagaland government to take immediate steps for covering the entire state under inner-line permit (ILP).

The JCPI demand comes to prevent more influx of suspected illegal Bangladeshi immigrants into the state in the light of the NRC fallout in Assam.

The committee convenor K. Ghokheto Chophy and co-convenor Joel Naga, in a statement said the government should immediately declare Dimapur as an ILP zone in view of the publication of final NRC in Assam while the exercise for RIIN is underway and should be expedited.

The JCPI said it failed to understand why it is so difficult when the former governor P.B. Acharya himself said Dimapur should come under ILP.

“What is the government afraid of when the SC has already dismissed the PIL against ILP and when it is within the scope of legality to impose ILP in Dimapur?” the committee asked.

Reminding that the Abhishek Committee on ILP had submitted its report to the government in February, the committee said in the report, one of the points with regard to Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) on ILP/Bengal Easter Frontier Regulation (BEFR) is along the lines of Mizoram government notification.

It said the government should not waste any more time and start implementing the Abhishek Committee findings while the SOP on ILP/BEFR should give more teeth to the government to identify and deport the lakhs of ILP holders (mostly Bangladeshis) inside the ILP zones of the state – the hill districts – who have set up commercial activities and taken up residency on permanent basis.

The committee said the ILP is only a pass to enter the state for a short or temporary period of time and does not give outsiders the right to engage in commercial activities.

It reminded the government that only the indigenous people can live, work and earn in ILP zones and added that all these ILP holders engaging in trading and commercial activities is illegal.

Except for bonafide central and state government servants/PSU employees/bank officials, tourists on visit, etc., all ILP holders-cum-traders should be identified and their valid ILP cancelled and deported from the districts.

According to the committee, the exercise to identify ILP holders in the hill districts who have misused their passes to engage in commercial transactions and businesses does not require the RIIN exercise to be completed.

The RIIN exercise is primarily to enumerate the indigenous population in the state so that ILP is effectively implemented in Dimapur district, it added.

The committee demanded that the government should immediately set up checkpoints at all the entry points along the entire disputed area belt even with ILP or no ILP.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com

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