Inner Line Permit

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Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected/restricted area for a limited period. It is obligatory for Indian citizens from outside those states to obtain permit for entering into the protected state. The document is an effort by the government to regulate movement to certain areas located near the international border of India. This is an off-shoot of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873,[1] which protected Crown's interest in the tea, oil and elephant trade by prohibiting "British subjects" from entering into these "Protected Areas" (to prevent them from establishing any commercial venture that could rival the Crown's agents) . The word "British subjects" was replaced by Citizen of India in 1950. Despite the fact that the ILP was originally created by the British to safeguard their commercial interests, it continues to be used in India, officially to protect tribal cultures in northeastern India.[2] There are different kinds of ILP's, one for tourists and others for people who intend to stay for long-term periods, often for employment purposes.

ILP's valid for tourism purposes are granted as a matter of routine.[3]

The states which require the permit are:

  • Arunachal Pradesh — Issued by the secretary (political) of the Government of Arunachal Pradesh. It is required for entering Arunachal Pradesh through any of the check gates across the interstate border with Assam or Nagaland. An ILP for temporary visitors is valid for 15 days and can be extended, while one for those taking employment in the state and their immediate family members is valid for a year.[4][5][6] The Aruanchal Pradesh government is planning to implement a permit-on-arrival system.[7]
  • Mizoram — Issued by the Government of Mizoram. It is required for entering Mizoram through any of the check gates across the inter-State borders. Typically, a "Temporary ILP" is issued to visitors, which is valid for 15 days, and can be extended another 15 days, with the possibility of extending it to one month in exceptional circumstances. However, with the sponsorship of a local resident or government department, a "Regular ILP" can be procured, which is valid for 6 months and can be renewed twice for another 6 months each.[8][9] If arriving by air, an ILP can be obtained on arrival at Lengpui Airport in Aizawl.[10]
  • Nagaland — Issued by the Government of Nagaland. It is mandatory for a mainland Indian citizen entering Nagaland through any of the check gates across the interstate borders. Dimapur, Nagaland's capital, is the only place in the state which does not require an ILP, and Indians arriving by air at Dimapur Airport can arrive and stay in the city without one.

Indian citizens also need a Nagaland-issued ILP if entering Manipur by road via Dimapur or Kohima. However, demands by the Government of Manipur for the introduction of the provision of an Inner Line Permit system to restrict entry of outsiders into the state were refused.[11]

An ILP was previously required for certain parts of the Leh district in Jammu and Kashmir. This requirement was abolished by a circular issued by district magistrate which took effect from 1 May 2014, although foreign nationals are required to get Protected Area Permit for this region.[12]

There are also ongoing demands for the introduction of ILP in Assam and Meghalaya to regulate entry of outsiders into the state. [13]

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