GUWAHATI, Sept 26 - Coming out against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today called upon the Centre to disclose if it had discussed the details of the proposed legislation with the State government before bringing it before the Parliament.
�If the Centre had discussed it with the State government, the latter should have consulted the citizens,� he said, while addressing a press conference here.
The former Chief Minister said that his government had passed a Cabinet resolution seeking shelter and asylum for people who were �citizens of India at the time of Independence� and who have been compelled to leave their countries due to persecution.
�But, we did not differentiate such people on the basis of religion. We also sought refugee status for them and not citizenship,� Gogoi said.
He also called upon the State government to release a White Paper within six months, giving details about encroachments across the State.
�It should reveal how much encroachment has happened in Assam, what action is the government contemplating to remove the encroachers, and what kind of rehabilitation is planned for such people. Give details about encroachment in tea gardens, forest areas, railway land, government land, cities and other areas,� he said.
Gogoi also demanded another White Paper defining �Jati� and �Mati� and what the State government plans to preserve Jati and Mati.
Gogoi said that the entire issue of encroachment and eviction should be considered with a humanitarian angle and there should be no discrimination with regard to eviction. He called upon the government to form a proper policy for eviction of encroachers.
With regard to the recent Gauhati High Court judgement declaring that the Assam Venture Educational Institutions (Provincialization of Services) Act, 2011 is constitutionally invalid, Gogoi said the State government should appeal against the verdict. He said the livelihood of thousands of teachers is at stake.