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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Curb on foreign tourists’ visit to 3 NE states lifted

Courtesy: The Shillong Times, 2 Jan 2011

Curb on foreign tourists’ visit to 3 NE states lifted

From Our Spl Correspondent

New Delhi: In a New Year bonanza for Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, the Centre has lifted a decades-old rules of obtaining permission by any foreigner visiting the three northeastern states.

"The government has decided to exclude Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland from the Protected Area regime notified under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order 1958, initially for a period of one year," a Home Ministry statement said.

However, all foreigners visiting these states will have to register themselves with the Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) of the district they visit within 24 hours of their arrival.

The order will come into effect from the New Year day. The restriction was in force since pre-independence days.

However, there is no change in case of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim probably in view of the escalating tension with neighbouring China.

Citizens of some specified countries, including Pakistan and China, would, however, continue to require prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs before their visit to these three states.

These changes will ease the difficulties being faced by foreigners to visit Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland. Besides promoting tourism the step is meant to help those foreigners who have family and friends in prohibited areas of these states.

The Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order 1958 states that a Protected Area Permit (PAP) is required for non-Indian citizens to visit certain areas in India mainly in the North-East. In addition, the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order 1968 states that a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is required for non-Indians to visit

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