Guwahati, Thursday, December 5, 2019
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Cabinet clears CAB for tabling in Parliament
Spl Correspondent

AASU activists staging protest against the CAB, in Guwahati on Wednesday. – AT Photo
 NEW DELHI, Dec 4 - Decks for tabling the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament has been cleared with the Union Cabinet on Wednesday clearing the Bill. It is now likely to be taken up on December 9-10 for discussion and passage.

Briefing newsmen, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the Bill takes care of all interests, particularly the interest of India. Without divulging details he said that the Bill will be laid in Parliament in the next couple of days.

Asked about unrest in Assam and Northeast, Javadekar said that he believed that when the details will be known then everybody will welcome it.

According to sources, the Bill is likely to come up for passage in Lok Sabha on December 9 and in the next day in Rajya Sabha.

However, the officials were tight-lipped about the content of the Bill.

The Bill proposes to exempt all Inner Line Permit (ILP) States and Six Schedule Areas from the purview of the Bill.

The Bill proposes to grant citizenship to all Hindus from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, who have fled their country because of religious persecution. The cutoff date of the Bill is reported to be December 31, 2014.

Meanwhile, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and other organisations, today staged a demonstration in front of Assam House here in protest against the clearance of the Bill by the Union Cabinet.

The students raised slogans like “We oppose CAB”, “Assam is not home of Bangladeshis”, and “We need justice”. The demonstrators also targeted the Central and the Assam governments.

Adviser AASU, Samujjal Bhattacharya, who addressed the protest meeting, said the Cabinet’s decision is unconstitutional, against the people of Assam and communal.

“The Congress government gave protection to illegal migrants by bring in IM(DT) Act and now BJP government is doing the same by bringing in the CAB,” Bhattacharya said.

“We will not allow Assam to become Bangladesh,” said the AASU leader.

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha and Assam Congress president Ripun Bora reacting to the Cabinet’s decision said that it will be considered as a ‘black day’ for the people of Assam.

“The Cabinet did not even pay heed to the on-going protest in Assam and cleared the Bill. It will be introduced in Parliament. Congress party will oppose the Bill and we have decided to challenge the Bill in Supreme Court once the Bill is passed. The Cabinet also did not take cognizance of Assam Accord signed by Rajiv Gandhi and the Accord was murdered today. And the AGP has a hand in it,” he said.

Meanwhile, the marathon round of meeting with indigenous civil society groups chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah lasted till 2 am last night.

Later briefing newsmen, State minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Shah held discussions with representatives of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. In the meeting, the Union Home Minister explained the position and intension of the government regarding the Bill. The Home Minister had spent 110 hours in Guwahati, Mizoram and Delhi discussing the Bill. The negative views on CAB have been dispelled to a great extent. I thing compared to last time the opposition to CAB will be less this time,” he said.

He said discussions were not only confined to CAB but several others vital issues of concern figured in the discussion. The discussions were fruitful,” Sarma said.

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