Aizawl (zoramobserver.com): While Mizoram is proudly considered by all Mizo tribesmen living across the globe as their homeland or Jerusalem (akin to Jewish homeland of Israel), a 38-year-old student leader from Assam belonging to one of the Zo tribes was denied entry into the state on the ground that he was hailing from Assam and that he has no Inner Line Permit or ILP.
The official response from the police at Vairengte check gate was: You need an Inner Line Permit to enter Mizoram.
The incident occurred on Friday at Vairengte police check gate in Mizoram-Assam border while Lalringum Sanate, a leader of Hmar Students’ Association (HSA) along with his family members, was heading towards Rengtekawn near Kolasib town to attend a wedding ceremony of his friend. Sanate is from Hmarkhawlien village in Assam’s Cachar District and he belongs to the Hmar tribe, one of the major Mizo tribes.
“Upon arrival at Vairengte, I sent my brother to show his driving licence and register our vehicle (car) which bears Assam registration number and inform the purpose of our visit at the police check gate. To my utter shock, the police officer on duty, who was a lady asked us to produce ILP or any document showing that we are genuine resident of Mizoram. She sternly told us that we could not enter towards Mizoram as we, despite being Mizo, are outsiders and that we do not possess ILP,” Sanate told his experience to zoramobserver.com over phone.
“NOT REAL MIZOS”
“Despite the fact that you belong to Mizo tribes (Zo descendants), you can’t enter and proceed to inner Mizoram as the Hmars and other Zo communities living outside Mizoram are not the real Mizos and they require ILP,” Sanate quoted the officer as saying.
He also alleged that the officer did make some racial and derogatory remarks which hurt his sentiment.
Sanate, who is a government servant under Assam government, said that he used to visit Mizoram several times before, but he did not come across such ILP issue during his earlier visits. He said that what made him most hurt and discouraged was the remarks that he belong to the Hmar tribe and that he is not a Mizo.
A Hmar Mizo denied entry, but a government servant is let in
Sanate added that he was allowed to move ahead towards his destination only when he produced his service (government servant) identity card.
Inner Line Permit (ILP), an offshoot of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873 is an official travel document enforced in Mizoram and some northeastern states that allow inward travel of Indian citizen into these protected states for a limited period. 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. As per the guidelines published in official gazette by Mizoram government in 2006, non-indigenous people are require to possess ILP for entry and stay in Mizoram.