Centre says no to strengthening of security forces in border areas
New Delhi: The Central Government is not going to increase the strength of security forces on the Indo-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya despite persistent demands for implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) by pressure groups and student organizations of the State.
This was stated in a written reply to Lok Sabha member from Shillong, Vincent H Pala by Union Minister of State for Home, Mullappally Ramachandran, recently during the winter session of Parliament.
“No Sir,” was the two-word reply by Ramachandran to a question asked by Pala.
Interestingly, the Union Minister for Home, Sushilkumar Shinde, had already declared that the ILP issue is a State Subject.
This he had said in reply to a specific question asked by journalists recently on whether the Union Government had rejected the demand of introduction of ILP in Meghalaya.
“Inner Line permit is a State Subject,” the Union Minister had said, that too, after consulting the Union Home Secretary who was sitting on the dais along with him.
However, Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry, Sambhu Singh, had gone on record earlier saying that as per provisions of the Constitution, ILP cannot be introduced in Meghalaya.
The Home Ministry’s argument is that ILP cannot be introduced once revoked.
The Home Ministry cited the Fundamental Rights under Article 19 to support its claim.
The system of ILP is in existence in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.
Meghalaya, Assam and Manipur are demanding introduction of the ILP ostensibly to check influx from outside. Manipur has even passed a resolution in the Legislative Assembly which is pending with the Centre for a long time.