ILP regime states, 6th schedule areas may be kept out of CAB

NEW DELHI, Nov 29: Arunachal, Nagaland and Mizoram, where the inner line permit (ILP) regime is applicable, are likely to be kept out of the purview of the proposed citizenship amendment bill (CAB), which is expected to be introduced in the ongoing winter session of Parliament, officials said on Friday.
The information comes amid an initiative taken by union Home Minister Amit Shah to hold discussions with the chief ministers of the northeastern states and different indigenous groups, civil society members and political parties of the region to assuage their concerns over the issue.
Twelve non-BJP MPs have also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to exclude the northeastern states from the purview of the proposed bill, saying if it comes into effect the tribal population of the region will be vulnerable to displacement.
“There is all likelihood that three states – Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram – where ILP regime is prevalent will be kept out of the purview of the CAB. Discussions are ongoing whether the 6th schedule areas in the Northeast could also be kept out of the purview of the CAB,” said a senior government official engaged in the consultations process.
The ILP regime is under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. In terms of Section 2 of the regulation, the ILP system is prevalent in Arunachal, Mizoram and Nagaland.
Under the 6th schedule of the constitution, autonomous councils and districts were created in tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura. The autonomous councils and districts enjoy certain executive and legislative powers.
The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, in order to grant Indian nationality to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who come to India due to religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan even if they don’t possess proper documents.
Shah is holding a series of meetings with the CMs of the northeastern states and leaders of socio-cultural bodies, student organisations and political parties from the region, beginning Friday, on plans to amend the Citizenship Act.
Those whom Shah is holding discussions with on Friday, Saturday and on 3 December include the North East Students’ Organisation, the All Bodo Students’ Union, and students bodies from Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal.
The meetings with the chief ministers will be held on Saturday, an official said.
Leaders of several political parties – both regional and state chiefs of national political parties – and heads of socio-cultural organisations have also been invited for the discussions, the official said.
Shah is holding the meetings in the wake of strong protests by many organisations against the bill in the Northeast.
Meanwhile, 12 MPs, most of them belonging to the Congress and from the Northeast, wrote a letter to the PM, saying civil society organisations of the region are also opposing the bill.
The BJP-led NDA government had introduced the bill in its previous tenure and got the Lok Sabha’s approval. But the government did not introduce it in the Rajya Sabha, apparently due to vehement protests in the Northeast.
The bill lapsed following the dissolution of the last Lok Sabha.
According to the earlier bill, those who came to India on or before 31 December, 2014, will benefit from the proposed legislation after it becomes an act.
There is a possibility of changes in the cut-off date too, another official said.
The Modi government has listed the bill in its items of business for the ongoing winter session of Parliament, and is set to push for its passage. (PTI)