Assam: Rajnath Singh, Sarbananda Sonowal review state situation after protests over Citizenship Bill

Guwahati, November 28 (PTI): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and top officials on November 27 night reviewed the situation in Assam in the wake of strong protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the state, sources said.

 

Sonowal and his ministerial colleague Himanta Biswa Sarmah briefed the home minister about the continuous protests against the Bill in Assam, they said.

 

The proposed amendment to the Citizenship Bill of 1955 seeks to grant citizenship to people from minority communities Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12 even if they do not possess proper documents.

 

A large section of people, organisations in the Northeast, particularly in Assam, have opposed the Bill saying it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants irrespective of religion.

 

Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Director of Intelligence Bureau Rajiv Jain and others attended the meeting. The home minister held the meeting hours after a joint parliamentary committee discussed the Bill where some opposition members sought exclusion of Bangladesh under the purview of the proposed legislation.

 

A BJP supported member suggested that a provision should be brought in the Bill so that it does not come into effect in Assam, sources added.