All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union sets 15 day deadline for ‘non-locals’ to acquire inner line permit, police term the move illegal.
New Delhi: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has given a 15-day ultimatum to all those without a valid inner line permit (ILP) to either acquire one, or leave the state. It has also threatened to drive out whom they call “illegal migrants”.
However, the Arunachal Police say they have nothing to do with this proposed move by the student union. They have clarified that checking the inner line permit does not fall under the mandate of a student union body and that it would be illegal for them if AAPSU goes ahead with this plan.
ILP, a legal travel document issued by the government of India, allows a non-local person entry and a limited period of stay in protected areas such as Aruanchal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. Long-term stay is allowed under various other kinds of ILP.
What the student body said
In a statement released Wednesday, the student body set a deadline of 16 August 2018 for such people to acquire an ILP. “From the very next day, i.e on 17th August 2018, ‘Operation Clean Drive’ shall be launched all across the state against the illegal migrants which shall also include ILP checking”, the statement reads.
The AAPSU move comes three days after the release of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) aimed at detecting illegal immigrants in Assam.
AAPSU said it had issued the statement after taking a serious note of the presence of “illegal migrants” in Arunachal who are residing without an ILP.
“We have information…that Arunachal has at least 40 to 50 thousand illegal immigrants without an ILP,” AAPSU convener Tatung Taga told ThePrint.
“We shall continue this exercise and conduct regular searches whenever required,” he added.
When asked about how they intend to implement the proposed measures, Taga said, “We have…identified many illegal migrants by coordinating with landlords, corporate employers and other small offices. We will go to all areas where we doubt the presence of such people.” (sic)
Claiming that it is a joint exercise with the state police, he said that searches will be carried out in every district where AAPSU members will accompany the police to carry out checks of ILP papers.
Taga said that obtaining an ILP is an easy task for those with legal identity proofs. “If anyone is unable to obtain the document within 15 days, strict actions will be taken against them,” he said.
Taga said that under the norms of ILP — introduced by the British through the promulgation of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873 — legal action is permissible against “non-indigenous” population who were residing without the document.
State police differ
Contrary to AAPSU’s claim of conducting a joint exercise with the police forces, the Arunachal Police say they are unaware of such an arrangement.
“It is completely false that the police have agreed to carry out such an exercise with the student body,” Harshvardhan Mandava, superintendent of police, Itanagar capital complex, told ThePrint.
Calling AAPSU’s order an act of “opportunism”, Mandava said that checking ILP does not fall under the mandate of a student union body.
“If they go ahead with such searches, it will be a completely illegal activity. They are not eligible to carry out any searches or take any action against people,” the officer clarified.
The police will take strict legal actions against them if any such illegal checking is conducted in the state, Mandava added.
Local media reported that Arunachal Police had caught more than 100 people in two days (after the release of NRC draft in Assam), who were trying to enter the state without an ILP.