Union Cabinet’s nod to amend BEFR, 1873 and introduce ILP in Manipur. Credit: Representational image

New Delhi: The union cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday gave its approval to amend the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations (BEFR), 1873. The move is to make Inner Line Permit applicable to entire Manipur. This would protect the indigenous people of the state from provisions of Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA).

The union cabinet completed the formality as the union home ministry had already mentioned in the gazette notification that ILP has been extended to Manipur.

“In the Third Schedule to the Adaptation of Laws Order, 1950, for the directions relating to the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, the following shall be substituted, namely: – ‘Preamble.– In the opening paragraph, for “districts of Kamrup, Darrang, Nowgong, Sibsagar, Lakhimpur, Naga Hills, Cachar” substitute “States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and area of districts of State of Nagaland as notified from time to time,” read a Gazette notification dated December 11.

ILP is a travel document that is issued by the Government of India for the travel of any Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period.

This practice owes its origin to the British administration’s the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations of 1873 and is seen as a security measure as well as an effort to conserve the ethnic-social demographics of certain societies. The Gazette notification from the ministry of home affairs signed by President Ram Nath Kovind mentioned that the order is issued under clause (2) of article 372 of the Constitution of India.

Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh had stated in the recently concluded state assembly session that ILP would be fulling implemented from January 1, 2020. Eight entry points including Moreh, Mao, Jiribam and Bir Tikendrajit International Airport have been identified as the locations where the permits would be issued.

ILP is already applicable in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. ILP was withdrawn from Manipur in 1950.

Meghalaya is the other northeastern state who is demanding ILP as safeguard against CAA. The Meghalaya Assembly has already passed a resolution and the notification has been sent to the Centre for necessary action.

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