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Sat, 25 Jan 2020

Northeast Today

‘Citizenship (Amendment) Bill won’t affect NE States’

‘Citizenship (Amendment) Bill won’t affect NE States’
December 07
12:03 2019

NET Bureau

Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and his Tripura counterpart, Biplab Kumar Deb, on Friday allayed fears over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Speaking on the sidelines of a programme here, the Tripura Chief Minister said that the citizenship Bill would in fact help the nation, and those who are opposing it have not fully understood its context. Deb said that if NGOs opposing the Bill study it fully, they would understand that it is in the best interest of the people.
The Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, on the other hand, said that his State is protected by the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act (inner line permit) and the Chin Hills Regulation.

Revealing details about his recent meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, along with a delegation from Arunachal Pradesh, Khandu said that he had requested the former that his State be kept outside the purview of the Act.

He added that he was yet to see the contents of the Bill following its approval by the Union Cabinet. Khandu said that he would be able to draw conclusions only when the citizenship Bill is tabled in Parliament.

The Arunachal Chief Minister reiterated that as the BEFR and Chin Hills Regulation Acts are in operation in his State, the citizenship Bill would not affect the State or create any issues.

It may be mentioned here that Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had also said recently that he would comment on the Bill only after going through it. Sangma has been a vocal opponent of the Bill in the past, and had met the Union Home Minister on four occasions to voice concern over the Bill.

On the other hand, Rijiju said that the Union Home Minister has already heard the views of various groups from the region, and that the “basic concerns of the indigenous people of the North East are being addressed”.

“When the Bill comes up for discussion in the Parliament, it will become very clear that people of the North Eastern region are well protected and given all support by the Government of India. So there is nothing to worry for the indigenous people of the North East,” Rijiju stressed.

Source: The Assam Tribune

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