Guwahati: Leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Meeting Debabrata Saikia on Thursday demanded that the long-pending claims and objections process of the National Register of Citizens be completed urgently via Foreigners Tribunal, as per rules.
Saikia further demanded that since only the names of genuine citizens of the pre-1971 period would be left after a reasonable claims and objections process, the Government must issue National Identity Cards to these citizens in accordance with provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
“Any foreigner can apply for Indian citizenship under sections 5 and 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and, because of this, there is not any wish to invoke the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Just before the recent Meeting elections the Government of Assam cited a letter from the Central Government and instructed Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police, Foreigners Registration Officers etc vide a memo dated March 19, 2021, to disseminate information regarding grant of citizenship to migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who hold Long Term Visas (LTVs),” said Saikia.
In this context, Saikia demanded that whether a section of foreign migrants is to be granted citizenship on the basis of LTVs, then the inner line permit system must be introduced in Assam as per provisions of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873, to safeguard the rights of the indigenous people of Assam.
He also claimed that since CAA used to be introduced for migrants from these three particular countries, there is reason to suspect that the most recent instruction issued by the Government of Assam used to be nothing but a ploy to execute CAA in Assam in a roundabout way.
Saikia further averred that the results of the recent Meeting elections could not be interpreted as endorsement of CAA by the people of Assam, because the BJP secured only 33.21% of the votes and the majority of voters spurned the BJP and CAA.