TODAY -

Lesson to learn from JCILPS' drive
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: November 30, 2021 -



FOR the joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS), whose on-going drive to check whether or not the non-natives possess ILP document is practically aimed at ascertaining effectiveness of the law, the report of state's capital Imphal set to be put on therailway map of India would be seen as facilitation of influx of outsiders in large numbers and nothing else.

Amid the incumbent government proclaiming implementation of the ILP system as one of its greatest achievements and heaping praises on the central leaders, the JCILPS has been conducting random drives with local organisations since the past few days to detect non-locals without possession of ILP passes, signifying that it is not satisfied with the follow-up measures by the government authorities.

So far in the on-going verification drive, over 100 non-locals have been found to be staying without the mandatory entry document and several others issued only the token pending actual issuance of the passes.

Presence of such a large number of non-locals despite enactment of the ILP legislation definitely leaves room Forsuspicion that authorities concerned are not enthusiastic to enforce the regulatory system seriously.

As commented by JCILPS co-convener (publicity) Wareppam Second, the number of non-locals possessing token for processing ILP passes has increased since the past few days, thereby laying bare the fact that the system has been rendered toothless.

It is also obvious that official apathy would be the primary factor for the system not serving any purpose other than giving the bragging right to the establishment in the runup to the assembly elections.

The ILP, a British governance tool in the northeast to protect tribal societies from loss of land and traditional way of life by preventing rampant migration of outsiders, was retained by independent India in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.

But it was never in vogue in multi-ethnic Manipur, consequently spurring the majority Meetei community to seek constitutional safeguard for saving themselves.

Without any support from the tribal communities whose presence in the free-for-all plains is substantial, the JCILPS managed to prevail upon the central government that ILP system is a must to prevent imminent adverse demographic changes in the valley where over 60 per cent of the state's population live in only 10 per cent of its geographical area.

As the Meeteis are legally prohibited from owning land in the hill districts populated by tribes while thetribals are free to buy land and settle in the valley, the JCILPS perceived ILP system as one of the means to preserve their minuscule space of residency.

Thus, it is but natural that the JCILPS would feel betrayed that the regulatory system has not been effective enough to stop the influx contrary to the government claiming credit for its reintroduction.

It is also understandable that the JCILPS wouldn't be rejoicing over the prospect of Imphal getting on the rail map in the next two years, especially due to ineffectiveness of the ILP system to keep a tab on the number of fresh entries of non-natives into the state as could be comprehended from detection of significant number of outsiders without the mandatory ILP passes.

So far, there has been no issue related to the verification drive, but there is no guarantee that the on-going exercise would proceed smoothly as the directive issued to provide details of non-local tenants might not be complied with by some landlords or house owners for whom leashing out the rooms to outsiders is a profitable business.



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