The Inner Line Permit (ILP) is not a stick to beat outsiders with but an aid to governance, Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said today.
The Meghalaya Assembly passed a unanimous resolution in December 2019 in favour of ILP but the central government has still yet to implement it in the state. Recently, while campaigning for the February 27 election, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said that ILP would be detrimental to Meghalaya’s burgeoning tourism industry. In a public debate, representatives of two political parties claimed, bizarrely, that ILP would reduce stray incidents of violence against non-tribals.
Today, Tynsong did not quite go that far but said the permit would help authorities keep track of outsiders in the state and this would benefit law and order.
ILP would allow the state to know where outsiders have entered, where they will be travelling to within Meghalaya and that will enable police and district authorities to be informed of their presence and ensure that they remain safe.
“ILP for us is not to bar people from other states coming here but to regulate and have concrete information about the tourists or students or businessmen right from the registration points,” Tynsong said.
At present, there is no information at all on the ingress and egress of visitors and the state lacks information to prevent harassment, assault and other untoward incidents against them, the Deputy CM said while making Meghalaya sound like a lawless and extremely violent state.
Being a transit state for people going to Mizoram, Tripura and the Barak Valley of Assam means that many people would have to apply for ILP but Tynsong said that it will only be implemented for those people who come to Meghalaya as tourists or who want to stay in the state temporarily.
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