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Call to enact anti-witch hunting Act

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Dec 7 - The Coordination Committee Against Superstition, Assam, has urged the State Government to take urgent steps for converting the Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015 into an Act.

The Coordination Committee, in a letter to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, stated that it had made an appeal to the State Government on March 2, 2015 to enact an appropriate piece of legislation to check the incidents of witch hunting in the State, explaining in detail as to why such a piece of legislation was needed.

This was followed by the State Government preparing the Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015 and the State Assembly passing it on August 13, 2015. It was then sent to the President of India for his assent. But the Union Home Ministry sought a number of clarifications on some of the clauses of the legislation in February, 2016.

The State Government sent the required clarifications to the Union Home Ministry in November last and it is expecting the President of India�s assent to the Bill shortly, said Coordination Committee member NU Ahmed.

Ahmed was part of the three-member delegation, which met the State�s Home Commissioner recently on the issue. The other members of the delegation were Dr Dhireswar Kalita and Dipanka Hazarika, joint convener and member of the Coordination Committee respectively.

The Home Commissioner told the Coordination Committee delegation that the Government would need the support and help of voluntary organisations and student bodies in implementing the legislation and mapping the vulnerable areas with regard to witch hunting.

The Coordination Committee member organisations include the Assam Science Society, Birubala Mission, Ellora Vigyan Mancha, Gyan Bigyan Samiti and All Bodo Students� Union, among others.

The Coordination Committee also submitted a list of the witch-hunting incidents that took place in the State after the State Assembly passed the said Bill, to press for its demand for urgent steps to expedite the process for the Presidential assent to the Bill, Ahmed said.

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Call to enact anti-witch hunting Act

GUWAHATI, Dec 7 - The Coordination Committee Against Superstition, Assam, has urged the State Government to take urgent steps for converting the Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015 into an Act.

The Coordination Committee, in a letter to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, stated that it had made an appeal to the State Government on March 2, 2015 to enact an appropriate piece of legislation to check the incidents of witch hunting in the State, explaining in detail as to why such a piece of legislation was needed.

This was followed by the State Government preparing the Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015 and the State Assembly passing it on August 13, 2015. It was then sent to the President of India for his assent. But the Union Home Ministry sought a number of clarifications on some of the clauses of the legislation in February, 2016.

The State Government sent the required clarifications to the Union Home Ministry in November last and it is expecting the President of India�s assent to the Bill shortly, said Coordination Committee member NU Ahmed.

Ahmed was part of the three-member delegation, which met the State�s Home Commissioner recently on the issue. The other members of the delegation were Dr Dhireswar Kalita and Dipanka Hazarika, joint convener and member of the Coordination Committee respectively.

The Home Commissioner told the Coordination Committee delegation that the Government would need the support and help of voluntary organisations and student bodies in implementing the legislation and mapping the vulnerable areas with regard to witch hunting.

The Coordination Committee member organisations include the Assam Science Society, Birubala Mission, Ellora Vigyan Mancha, Gyan Bigyan Samiti and All Bodo Students� Union, among others.

The Coordination Committee also submitted a list of the witch-hunting incidents that took place in the State after the State Assembly passed the said Bill, to press for its demand for urgent steps to expedite the process for the Presidential assent to the Bill, Ahmed said.

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