Foreign nationals defy visa rules while visiting northeast

Agartala, Feb 16 (IANS) A large number of foreigners are being black-listed from visiting northeastern states by the Union Home Ministry for violation of visa rules, a top official said here on Thursday.

A top central intelligence official told IANS on condition of anonymity that some foreign nationals become involved in local law and order and negative issues, including spreading of religious messages and thoughts.

Foreigners visiting Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland require Protected Area Permits and Restricted Area Permits.

In Arunachal Pradesh, a foreigner cannot exceed stay for more than 30 days.

“Around 30 black-listed nationals of the US, Nigeria and Bangladesh were disallowed from entering Tripura during the past one year by the immigration authorities,” the official added.

“On Wednesday, a black-listed Muslim cleric from Bangladesh tried to enter Tripura but the immigration authorities at the India-Bangladesh check post at Akhaura did not allow him,” the official said.

According to the official, the 64-year-old cleric, carrying Indian visa with one year validity, had visited Tripura last month too.

Around 90,000 foreign tourists visited seven northeastern states, excluding Sikkim, last year, while 80,200 foreign tourists visited the region in 2015 and in 2014, around 68,400 foreign travellers visited the mountainous region.