Centre’s ‘no’ to ILP in Meghalaya

NEW DELHI, Dec 6 – In a move that is likely to have ramifications in Assam as well, the Centre has rejected the demand for introduction of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in Meghalaya on the ground that there is no Constitutional provisions for such an initiative.

According to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sources, the Centre had clarified its stand to the Meghalaya Government recently. A massive agitation is on in the neighbouring State over demand for introduction of ILP. In Assam, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has also threatened to launch an agitation demanding introduction of ILP to check illegal influx from neighbouring Bangladesh.

Sources said that Article 19 (D) and (E) guarantees free movement throughout the territory of India and to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India.

When asked about the existence of ILP in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram in the North-east, sources clarified that it may continue to remain in force in States where it was in force. But in States like Meghalaya where it was in force but revoked, it cannot be re-introduced.

Similarly, new demands for introduction of ILP can be considered, sources said.

The Centre’s stand though, is likely to land the Congress-ruled State Government in a spot as the pro-ILP agitation spearheaded by 13 NGOs has been gaining momentum. The Dr Mukul Sangma Government, however, has opposed the demand, which has led to a standoff-like situation.