GUWAHATI: The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has demanded that ILP (Inner Line Permit) must be introduced in Assam. It further blamed both the Centre and the State governments for failing to bring the State within the ILP provisions. Stating that “the Central government deprived Assam from the provisions of ILP at the time when the Parliament passed the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB)-2019,” AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya pointed out, “According to the ‘Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation-1873’, ILP was very much prevalent in the erstwhile undivided districts of Assam namely Kamrup, Darrang, Nowgong, Sibsagar, Lakhimpur (Garo Hills), Khasi and Jaintia Hills, Naga Hills, and Cachar. However, it was not implemented.”
The AASU leader challenged “the State government to issue a public statement as to whether it has not done a grievous harm with respect to Assam by not bringing Assam within the ILP ambit.”
The Regulation pointed out that “It shall be lawful for the (State government) Power to prescribe from time to time to alter by notification the Official Gazette a line to be called ‘The Inner Line” in each or any of the named districts.” Referring to this provision, the AASU leader further pointed out , “This notwithstanding, the Centre on December 11, 2019 issued a notification whereby the above mentioned districts were substituted by the line: States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, and areas of districts of the State of Nagaland as notified from time to time.”
Bhattacharya added, “We have been stressing widening the purview of the Regulation to bring ILP in the entire State of present-day Assam. The Union government could have very much done this. When Manipur got the ILP, Assam can also get it. The AASU and the NESO have been demanding ILP in the entire Northeast, including Assam. Sadly enough, this is not being done”.