‘Centre honours NE sentiments’ - Union Minister Kiren Rijiju
Rijiju on CAB
ITANAGAR: Keeping in the view the interest of the North East people, the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre did not introduced the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said here on Sunday.
“The government, respecting the sentiments of the people of the region had decided not to introduce the Bill in the Rajya Sabha even many States in the country were supporting the Bill,” the Union Minister of State for Home informed while interacting with the media here.
He said that “the people of the region staged protests without understanding the pros and cons of the Bill.” “The apprehension was natural as it was injected among the people by a few vested interest groups to create confusion,” Rijiju said.
Referring to his home State Arunachal, the Minister claimed that the CAB would in no way affect Arunachal Pradesh as the State is governed by a different set of law and under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act (BEFR), the State is protected.
“Even people from other States need to take inner line permit to enter the State and foreigners need to obtain the Protected Area Permit (PAP) and the Restricted Area Permit (RAP),” he pointed out.
“I am committed to protect the interest and rights of the people of State,” he added.
Rijiju further said, the Opposition had raised the issue regarding granting refugee status to Tibetans, Chakma and Hajong refugees residing in the State without knowledge of the ground realities.
The Tibetan refugee who came to India in 1959 and have been settled in the five refugee camps in the State, are not willing to take citizenship in India even if Supreme Court facilitates, as they are fighting for the freedom of Tibet, he said.
A few Tibetans who have married locals in the State and are trying to obtain citizenship certificate by illegal means were denied, he pointed out
“When I came to know about the issue, I said that the old Tibetan rehabilitation policy should be made clear and well defined with information on how much Tibetans are residing in the State so that in future no refugees can get the rights and benefits of the indigenous tribal people,” Rijiju said.
“But people misinterpreted the issue and give it a different colour,” he added.
Moreover, in the contentious Chakma and Hajong refugee issue, The Gauhati High Court during 1996 directed that the process of granting citizenship to the refugees should be started.
“In 2015 the Supreme Court, in an order directed the State government to provide citizenship to the refugees within three months. However, the Home Ministry changed the old policy and submitted to the apex court saying that there would be problem to implement the order in the State as the refugees settled in the State by the Congress are illegal, for which as of now they have not been granted citizenship despite court order,” he said.
“Because of me, the process was halted and the rights of the tribal people have been protected,” he added.
Referring to the PRC issue to non-Arunachalees which claimed three lives besides causing largescale damage of public and private properties in the State capital during February, Rijiju alleged that the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Takam Sanjoy a few months back in a public meeting at Lekang had spoken in support of the issue but later dragged his name in the issue misleading the people.
“Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election rally at Aalo on Saturday categorically said that the Centre will not work against the interest of the tribal people and will work to protect their culture, tradition and rights,” Rijiju said.
“I have never worked against the interest of my people and will never do so in the future. Nobody can drag me into any such controversy,” he added.
Also read: Arunachal news