TODAY -

Scoundrel officials undermining essence of ILP system
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: September 08, 2022 -



UNDER no circumstance should the government authority brush off the contention by Indigenous People's Forum that some outsiders, who had entered the state in compliance with regulations of the inner line permit (ILP) system and possessed relevant documents, were found in some areas of Chandel district possessing job cards and Scheduled Tribe (ST) cards.

Amid remarks by socio-political commentators and civil societies, that spearheaded the public movement for reintroduction of the ILP system in the state, the Forum's disclosure only deepens the suspicion that officials and their subordinate staffers, who are entrusted to enforce effective implementation of the entry/exit regulatory law, aren't reliable.

Officially, the ILP system is being implemented with effect from December 2019 after years of intense public agitations, during which not only a student protester lost his life but the movement sparked tension after a particular community was averse to the idea of setting the base year so as to determine endemism of inhabitants of the land.

Among others, lack of clarity and indecision on the cut-off year are reasons for the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) periodically questioning commitment of the government to protect the indigenes.

The Committee, which led agitations for years prior the Union government ceding to the public's demand, had been consistently stating that it is not all satisfied with the government simply bringing in the ILP system and demanding incorporation of relevant provisions to ensure effective protective mechanisms for the state's indigenes from the burgeoning population of non-locals.

When Covid-induced travel restrictions were enforced and rate of entries of non-locals used to be negligible, it seemed that the ILP system would help in preventing influx of outsiders into the state.

However, with the restrictions lifted due to improvement in the pandemic situation, there are ample signs about ceaseless increase in the number of outsiders and the government seemingly dragging its feet in giving more teeth to the legislation or ignoring the general sentiment for firmer ILP guidelines to protect the indigenes of the state from every aspect.

Unarguably, the state and central governments had upheld the people's demand and endorsed implementation of the ILP system, but claims by the Forum that in Chandel district the system has been contradictory to the purpose of the legislation underscores that the provisions for protection of rights of the indigenous people are being flouted by those working at the ground level.

Regardless of the ILP system reintroduced to ensure that the indigenes are not ousted from the land to which they are historically and culturally connected, the Forum's appeal to the government to look into the perturbing issue of non-locals found in possession of ST and job card documents could be construed as the government's inability to impress upon officials mandated to oversee judicious implementation of the regulatory system to uphold constitutional and legal principles.

Thus, considering the Forum's claim that no less than 71 outsiders were found possessing job cards and ST cards, there is no valid reason why the matter shouldn't be investigated and punitive action initiated against those undermining safety, rights and interest of the indigenous people.



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