Itanagar: Various stakeholders including community-based organizations, students’ bodies and political leaders on Wednesday unequivocally opposed the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) which is likely to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament.
The Consultative Committee on CAB constituted by the state government during the day held the final meeting under the chairmanship of Home Minister Bamang Felix, with all the stakeholders of the state to seek their opinions on the controversial Bill as decided by the state Cabinet in its special meeting convened on November 18 last.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday last convened a special cabinet meeting to discuss the report of the Consultative Committee which was submitted to the government.
Considering the sensitivity of the issue, the cabinet decided to have a final discussion with all the stakeholders together and forward the recommendations arrived through to the union Home Ministry.
After hours-long deliberation on the issue, the meeting while unequivocally opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, recommended for enacting the provisions of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1873 and Chin Hills Regulation 1896 under the Act.
“For the state of Arunachal Pradesh, all provisions of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1873 (Regulation 5 of 1873) and all provisions of Sections 22, 23, 38 and 40 of the Chin Hills Regulation 1896 (Regulation No 5 of 1896) shall be deemed to have been enacted under this Act and shall have effect accordingly,” the meeting recommended.
“The provisions of this Act shall not be applicable to any person who has been residing in or has entered or may enter the State of Arunachal Pradesh in violation of the BEFR 1873 or the provisions of CHR 1896 or the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1961 (Act No 23 of 1961) as amended from time to time,” the meeting further recommended.
While North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) representative Pritam Bhai Sonam opposed the Bill completely saying that the organization did want the Bill totally, Arunachal Indigenous Tribes Forum (AITF) (a conglomeration of various community-based organisations of the state) President Bengia Tolum suggested for introducing National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state.
The recommendations of the meeting will be submitted to the state government who will forward to the union Home Ministry.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said on October 1 last that Parliament will pass the CAB which will grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after seven years of stay in the country even if they do not possess proper documents.
The indigenous people of the Northeastern States fear that entry of these people will endanger their identity and livelihood.
During a recent meeting of the North East Democratic Alliance at Guwahati, Shah, also BJP president, had said the concerns of the North Eastern states will be incorporated in the CAB and has sought suggestions on the issue.