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Shah consults State leaders on CAB

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Nov 30 - Asserting that the Centre is committed to implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday offered a number of concessions to dilute the impact of the Bill on the indigenous people of the North East.

On the second day of the ongoing consultation, Shah tried his best to sell the CAB to various organisations which were invited. At least 10 organisations, including Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Bodo People�s Party (BPF), Asam Sahitya Sabha, All Bodo Students� Union (ABSU), All Assam Minority Students� Union (AAMSU) and Janajatiya Akya Mancha, met Shah at Assam House here.

The takeaway from the meeting was that the Centre proposes to keep out the Inner Line Permit (ILP) States of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram from the purview of the Bill. Besides, the Bill will not be implemented in the Sixth Schedule tribal autonomous regions. This newspaper had earlier reported this.

As far as Assam is concerned, Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, which proposes to safeguard the ethnicity, language and culture of the people of Assam, will be implemented in letter and spirit.

Later, State Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told newsmen that the Bill will not be applicable in ILP States and Sixth Schedule areas, and outsiders will not be permitted to buy land. People who come under CAB will not enjoy any new rights.

Asked whether Assamese-speaking people will face threat from Bengali-speaking people in terms of spoken language, and whether the State language will change if Bengali-speaking people become the majority, Amit Shah asserted that if the Clause Six Committee recommends, then Assamese language will continue to remain as the State language.

Shah told representatives of the Asam Sahitya Sabha that the Centre is committed to NRC and Clause 6. The new NRC will be implemented in Assam, and the entire country will have one cutoff date, which will be decided by Parliament, Sarma said.

Sarma admitted that majority of the organisations which met Shah conveyed that they do not want the old CAB. Since Friday, delegations from Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam have met Shah.

Members of the All Assam Students� Union (AASU), Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) and delegations from Nagaland will meet Shah on December 3.

Meanwhile, AGP president and State Minister Atul Bora told newsmen that they have not seen the Bill. �When we see the Bill, we will study it and if we feel that Assam�s interest will be hurt, then we will oppose it,� he said.

Rajya Sabha MP Biswajeet Daimary said that only indigenous people living within the BTC area will enjoy rights and privileges, and the CAB will not cover areas under Article 371.

Aminul Islam of AIUDF said they are opposing the CAB because it is based on religion. �We wanted to know what the proof of religious persecution would be, what instruments do we have to measure religious persecution? Who will give the proof of the number of persons who come to India within the cutoff date?� he asked.

ABSU president Pramod Boro said priority should be given to safety and security of identity, culture and language of the ethnic people.

Paramananda Rajbongshi of Asam Sahitya Sabha said they are opposed to the Bill, but will express their views only after receiving the proposals in writing.

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Shah consults State leaders on CAB

NEW DELHI, Nov 30 - Asserting that the Centre is committed to implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday offered a number of concessions to dilute the impact of the Bill on the indigenous people of the North East.

On the second day of the ongoing consultation, Shah tried his best to sell the CAB to various organisations which were invited. At least 10 organisations, including Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Bodo People�s Party (BPF), Asam Sahitya Sabha, All Bodo Students� Union (ABSU), All Assam Minority Students� Union (AAMSU) and Janajatiya Akya Mancha, met Shah at Assam House here.

The takeaway from the meeting was that the Centre proposes to keep out the Inner Line Permit (ILP) States of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram from the purview of the Bill. Besides, the Bill will not be implemented in the Sixth Schedule tribal autonomous regions. This newspaper had earlier reported this.

As far as Assam is concerned, Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, which proposes to safeguard the ethnicity, language and culture of the people of Assam, will be implemented in letter and spirit.

Later, State Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told newsmen that the Bill will not be applicable in ILP States and Sixth Schedule areas, and outsiders will not be permitted to buy land. People who come under CAB will not enjoy any new rights.

Asked whether Assamese-speaking people will face threat from Bengali-speaking people in terms of spoken language, and whether the State language will change if Bengali-speaking people become the majority, Amit Shah asserted that if the Clause Six Committee recommends, then Assamese language will continue to remain as the State language.

Shah told representatives of the Asam Sahitya Sabha that the Centre is committed to NRC and Clause 6. The new NRC will be implemented in Assam, and the entire country will have one cutoff date, which will be decided by Parliament, Sarma said.

Sarma admitted that majority of the organisations which met Shah conveyed that they do not want the old CAB. Since Friday, delegations from Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam have met Shah.

Members of the All Assam Students� Union (AASU), Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) and delegations from Nagaland will meet Shah on December 3.

Meanwhile, AGP president and State Minister Atul Bora told newsmen that they have not seen the Bill. �When we see the Bill, we will study it and if we feel that Assam�s interest will be hurt, then we will oppose it,� he said.

Rajya Sabha MP Biswajeet Daimary said that only indigenous people living within the BTC area will enjoy rights and privileges, and the CAB will not cover areas under Article 371.

Aminul Islam of AIUDF said they are opposing the CAB because it is based on religion. �We wanted to know what the proof of religious persecution would be, what instruments do we have to measure religious persecution? Who will give the proof of the number of persons who come to India within the cutoff date?� he asked.

ABSU president Pramod Boro said priority should be given to safety and security of identity, culture and language of the ethnic people.

Paramananda Rajbongshi of Asam Sahitya Sabha said they are opposed to the Bill, but will express their views only after receiving the proposals in writing.