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Even as several organisations in the northeastern region, including the All Assam Students Union (AASU) and the North East Students Organisation, are agitating against the notification of the Citizenship (Amendment Act) (CAA), legal and constitutional experts are of the view that the Act will not be enforced in the areas of tribal autonomous district councils created under the 6th Schedule, and the areas where the Inner Line Permit (ILP) is in place.

Quoting the provisions of the new Act, legal expert Apurba Kumar Dey said the CAA will not be promulgated in the 10 tribal autonomous district councils (ADCs) of Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Tripura.

“Besides the ADCs, several states in the northeast have special protections under Article 371 of the Constitution,” Dey told IANS.

There are three tribal autonomous district councils each in Assam, Meghalaya, and Mizoram, while Tripura has one such tribal autonomous body. All the 10 autonomous bodies were constituted under the 6th Schedule of the Constitution.

These 10 tribal ADCs facilitate the socio-economic development of the tribals, who constitute 28 per cent of the northeastern region’s total population of around 45.58 million.

The ILP, under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, has been in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Manipur to allow an Indian citizen into the ILP areas for a stipulated period with the written permission of the state and other competent authorities.

The main aim of the ILP system is to check the settlement of other Indian nationals in these states to protect the native population.

Protection is also extended to the indigenous people with regard to land, jobs, and other facilities.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said on Tuesday that the CAA will not have any impact in the mountainous state since the 6th Schedule areas have been exempted from its purview.

Only some areas of Meghalaya are outside the three ADCs — Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council, and Garo the Hills Autonomous District Council.

The CAA seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Parsis who came to India on or before December 31, 2014, from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan after facing religious persecution in those nations.