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Assam Citizens' Register Deadline Nears, CM Sonowal Tells People Don't Panic

On Wednesday, Chief Minister Sonowal met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other top officials from the home ministry and held a three-hour long discussion on the NRC issue as well as the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which has triggered massive protests across Brahmaputra Valley.

Karishma Hasnat | News18

Updated:May 30, 2018, 5:05 PM IST
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Assam Citizens' Register Deadline Nears, CM Sonowal Tells People Don't Panic
File photo of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. (PTI)
Gauhati: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has once again asked people not to panic over the National Register of Citizens as the date for its second and final draft draws near.

On Wednesday, Chief Minister Sonowal met Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other top officials from the home ministry and held a three-hour long discussion on the NRC issue as well as the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which has triggered massive protests across Brahmaputra Valley.

“People of Assam should not panic as the Home Minister himself has assured that before taking any step, the concerns of people of Assam will be taken care of. Whatever we do will be in good faith,” said Sonowal.

“People showed tremendous support when the first draft was published. We expect the same support and cooperation while working towards the completion of the final draft that will be published on June 30, a deadline set by the Supreme Court. The entire process is being done in Assam under the direct monitoring of the Supreme Court,” he said.

Sonowal said that once the final draft is published, people can take legal help if there is any dispute or claim. He added that both the Centre and the state government are working to ensure no one faces a problem.

The NRC, updated to detect illegal immigrants in Assam, was first prepared in 1951. The first draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published on December 31 midnight. It included 1.9 crore people.

The Chief Minister also said that a committee will soon be constituted under the state government for rightful implementation of Clause 6 in the ‘Assam Accord’ that would ensure ‘constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards’.

The All Assam Students’ Union on Tuesday had led a mass demonstration involving 28 student organizations and eight tribal literary bodies.

Calling the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 ‘communal, unconstitutional, anti-indigenous and anti-northeast’, the AASU reiterated that they will not allow Northeast to be a 'dumping ground for illegal Bangladeshis'.

“It is a strong warning to both the Centre and the state government not to impose the Bill on Assam and Northeast. Assam should get constitutional safeguard as per Assam Accord, and the international border should be sealed. At the same time, there should be a bipartite agreement between the Government of India and Bangladesh to deport illegal migrants,” said Samujjal Bhattacharya, chief advisor of AASU.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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