Arunachal Pradesh Permits ,Assam Permits, Manipur Permits, Foreigners are no longer require a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) ?
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A special regulation — the Inner Line Permit (ILP) — makes it illegal for Indians to travel and work in certain states without permission from authorities. The regulation divides Indians as insiders and outsiders, creating social tension. For quite some years, the situation in Manipur state in eastern India has been unfriendly to outsiders. Local people use the term Mayang (outsider) to disparagingly denote Indians from other areas living in their state. The ILP system is in force in the northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland, where visitors from other parts of India need a government-issued document to visit what are considered protected areas. Manipur’s majority Meitei community has been demanding the introduction of ILP in the state to regulate the entry and exit of outsiders. “Outsider” Indians living in the state — even some who have lived in the area before the state’s formation in 1972 — say such a system would force them out of their homes.
The origin of the system is traced to an 1873 British law — the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations — which restricted entry to border areas to “British subjects” to protect British interests in the tea, oil and elephant trade by prohibiting non-British Indians developing commercial ventures. Those who support the regulation in Manipur say British rule covered the area of present-day Manipur and the lack of such regulation has led to large numbers of outsiders settling in their state. Such an inflow is absent in states where the regulation is in force, they argue. Demands for an IPL system have also been made in the northeastern states of Assam and Meghalaya and in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago in the Bay of Bengal.
The tendency to look at people as outsiders generally come from a narrow ethnic feeling. Unfortunately, politicians have nurtured it with hate speeches to placate local sentiments for votes. While the Indian constitution guarantees freedom to travel to any part of the country, the administration fails to address why certain areas need to be excluded based on archaic laws. Many oppose the presence of outsiders fearing that jobs available for local people will be taken away. But that argument has no basis because locals are not ready to do the low-paying work taken up by migrants from other states. That explains why thousands of people from poverty-stricken states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are now working in Manipur.
A casual look at the working population shows that not many local people are working as masons, carpenters, road cleaners and daily laborers. That means daily life in Manipur depends greatly on the labor of outsiders, who insiders want to leave.
Another fear is that the small population of Manipuri people will be swamped by outsiders, changing the demography of the state over time. They say Tripura’s indigenous Tripuri people have been reduced to a miniscule minority. Bengalis from Bangladesh and Silchar migrated to Tripura in large numbers and so Tripura today is a “Bengali state.” If that logic is applied, then every Indian state, including relatively richer states, should protect themselves with regulations to keep away non-locals.
But then, the concept of nationhood gets challenged and the progress of people jeopardized. For generations, people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have lived the arduous life of migrants in various parts of northeast India. We see a large chunk of them on the banks of the Brahmaputra River, where life is tough, especially when there are floods. Where should they go if they are ousted with a law to protect other people’s interests? Do we not consider these migrants as people who, after generations of hard work, continue to be poor and migrant?
There was a time in Nagaland some 25 years back when all the non-Naga people would get occasionally rounded up and kept in a stadium for a whole day. It was as good as deportation. Even those who had normal permits were treated like prisoners for a day. This is how non-local people could be treated. Outsiders are treated cruelly within Manipur too. Almost every other day, we hear reports about outsiders being killed or attacked, and no one seems to care.
On the other hand, should any Manipuri face any kind of harassment anywhere in India, there are a loud hue and cry in the state. Manipuri people generally love to go to big cities in India for studies and work. Is the demand to keep others away from Manipur not one-sided?. The enthusiasm for ILP in Manipur cannot be seen as a people’s demand. Everything in Manipur seems to be dictated by insurgent groups who run a parallel government. People, in general, have given up hope that the police or any law enforcement agency can achieve any good in this matter.
Most Northeast India states require tourists to obtain permits of some sort to visit them. This is due to ethnic violence, as well as the region’s sensitive location bordering Bhutan, China, and Myanmar. Here’s what you need to know about permits for the Northeast of India, and where to get them. Do be aware that foreigners can apply for permits (both Protected Area Permit and Inner Line Permit) if they have an e-Visa for India. It’s not necessary to hold a regular tourist visa to apply for a permit.
Note: The Indian government has relaxed permit requirements for foreigners to promote tourism to the Northeast. Foreigners no longer have to obtain permits to visit Mizoram, Manipur, and Nagaland. (The requirement still remains for Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.) Foreigners must, however, register themselves at the Foreigner Registration Office (District Superintendent of Police) within 24 hours of entry to each state. In addition, the permit exemption doesn’t apply to citizens of specified countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, and China, who continue to require prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs before their visit to these three states. Do be aware that Overseas Citizen of India card holders are classified as foreigners, and must obtain permits as required.
The following information reflects the above changes.
Arunachal Pradesh Permits
Indian tourists need an Inner Line Permit (ILP). This is available by applying online at this website or from any Government of Arunachal Pradesh in office in Delhi, Kolkata, Tezpur, Guwahati, Shillong, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur and Jorhat. In addition, ILP Facilitation Centers operate at Naharlagun Railway Station, Gumto Railway Station, and Guwahati Airport in Assam. These centres issue ILPs on arrival.
Foreigners require a Protected Area Permit (PAP). The permit requirements were relaxed in 2008 and only two or more people need to travel together (instead of four). However, according to a further government directive issued in 2014, single foreign tourists can now obtain PAPs to visit Tawang, Bomdila, and Ziro. PAPs are available for a duration of 30 days (extensions are not possible). In reality, the easiest way of getting the PAP is through a travel agent. It will take a couple of days to be issued.
If you want to travel independently and do it yourself, the best places are the Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Resident Commissioner’s Office in Kolkata or Guwahati. These are the only two places that have the authority to issue PAPs to independent foreign tourists and single tourists. In Guwahati, the office is located on G.S. Road. Applications can be submitted Monday to Friday, up until 2 p.m. Processing time is two to five working days.
Permits aren’t required for Indians or foreigners.
In mid December 2019, the Indian government announced that Indian tourists will now require an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit Manipur. Indian tourists visiting Manipur by road via Dimapur or Kohima will also require an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to pass through Nagaland (see how to obtain an ILP for Nagaland below).
Foreigners no longer require a Protected Area Permit (PAP). However, they must register themselves at the local Foreigner Registration Office (FRO) of the districts they visit within 24 hours of arrival. (Previously foreign tourists were required to travel in a minimum group of four people or a married couple, and only visit limited areas).
Permits aren’t required for Indians or foreigners.
Indian tourists need an Inner Line Permit (ILP). This is available from any Mizoram House. It’s also available at Lenpui Airport, for tourists arriving by flight. Foreigners are no longer require a Restricted Area Permit (RAP). However, they must register themselves at the local Foreigner Registration Office (FRO) of the districts they visit within 24 hours of arrival. (Previously foreign tourists were required to travel in a minimum group of four people or a married couple, and only visit limited areas).
Indian tourists need an Inner Line Permit (ILP) if they intend to visit any place Nagaland including Dimapur. Dimapur was brought under the ILP regime in December 2009. This permit can now be obtained online here or from any Nagaland House (in Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, and Shillong) or Government of Nagaland office. Foreigners are no longer require a Restricted Area Permit (RAP). However, they must register themselves at the local Foreigner Registration Office (FRO) of the districts they visit within 24 hours of arrival. (Previously foreign tourists were required to travel in a minimum group of four people and only visit limited areas).
Indian tourists do not need a permit to enter Sikkim. However, an Inner Line Permit (ILP) is necessary for visiting certain areas. In East Sikkim, these areas are Tsongo Lake, Nathu La, Kupup, and Menmecho Lake. In North Sikkim, these areas are Chungthang, Lachung, Yumthang Valley, Yumesamdong, Lachen, Thangu, Chopta, and Gurudongmar Lake. The permits can readily be arranged through travel agencies in Gangtok. Foreigners need an Inner Line Permit to enter Sikkim. This permit can be readily obtained online here or at the Rangpo and Melli border crossing checkpoints. A 30-day permit will be issued upon presentation of photocopies of passport, Indian visa, and two passport-sized photos.
Alternatively, you can get the permit in advance from Sikkim Tourism offices in New Delhi and Kolkata, and District Magistrate offices in Darjeeling and Siliguri. Foreigners also require a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) or Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit North Sikkim, and for trekking in the interior region of the state (such as Yuksom to Dzongri). Such permits are only issued to groups of two or more foreigners travelling together, who have made their arrangements with a trekking/tour operator that’s registered with the Sikkim Tourism Department. The tour operator will handle obtaining the permits. A permit is also required for day trips from Gangtok to Tsomgo Lake. Tour operators/drivers will arrange these but require 24 hours notice.
Permits aren’t required for Indians or foreigners.