GUWAHATI, Sept 9 - Union Home Minister Amit Shah today assured the Chief Ministers of the eight northeastern states that the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB will take December 31, 2014, as the cut-off date and it will also not override the provisions of the 6th Schedule of the Constitution, the Inner Line Permit system and other state-specific Acts which have been enacted to protect the cultural, linguistic and other rights of the people of this region.
Shah made this assurance to the Chief Ministers of all the eight NE states during a meeting held here on the sidelines of the 4th plenary of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).
This was disclosed by NEDA convenor and Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma during a press conference in the evening.
�Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad Sangma enquired whether there will be any cut-off date for granting citizenship to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Christians of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Sangma also enquired if the proposed CAB will override the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security Act. The Chief Ministers of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland enquired whether the proposed CAB will in any way affect provisions of Article 371 of the Constitution, the 6th Schedule of the Constitution and the Inner Line Permit System. Amit Shah assured all the Chief Ministers that the proposed CAB will have a cut-off date of December 31, 2014. The proposed CAB will not, in any way, override the provisions of the 6th Schedule and the Inner Line Permit, and State Acts like the Meghalaya Safety and Security Act,� said Sarma.
He added that according to Shah, specific provisions would be included in the proposed Amendment Bill itself.
�All current laws and regulations and State laws enacted for protecting the cultural, linguistic and other rights of the northeastern region will not get diluted by the proposed CAB. All the Chief Ministers of the region thanked the Union Home Minister for his categorical assurance and assured him that they will discuss the proposed CAB with all the stakeholders in their respective states and meet Shah soon again,� said Sarma.
During the meeting with the Chief Ministers, the Union Home Minister also emphasised settling the inter-state boundary dispute among the North Eastern states in a time-bound manner.
�... He (Shah) has put a timeline that before India celebrates 75 years of Independence, all the land and border disputes, like the ones between Assam and Nagaland, Assam and Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, have to be resolved, and that the Indian government will take a very proactive step (in the matter),� said Sarma.
He added that Shah has also taken the matter of drug trafficking in the region seriously and asked the states to prepare a blueprint to eradicate the menace in the North East.