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, 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. 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.
The states which require the permit are:Arunachal Pradesh,Mizoram and Nagaland . An ILP was previously required for certain parts of the Leh district in Jammu and Kashmir. This requirement was abolished in 2014, although foreign nationals are required to get Protected Area Permit for this region.
ILP required by outsiders to enter Nagaland and some other northeastern states has not been successful in tackling the influx of migrants or illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, according to some.