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No one from Bangladesh will be able to enter Assam by means of amended Citizenship Act: Sonowal

PTI Guwahati | Updated on December 20, 2019 Published on December 20, 2019

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday said the citizenship law did not encourage fresh influx from Bangladesh, but those who had fled the neighbouring country and moved to the state decades ago due to religious persecution, would be able to apply for Indian citizenship.

Allaying fears of the state’s indigenous population, who are wary that the law would threaten their identity, Sonowal said “not a single person from Bangladesh will get to enter Assam through CAA”.

“Only those people who have been living in Assam for decades, having fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, would be able to apply for Indian citizenship,” he told presspersons at a press meet here.

Once the process of filing applications for citizenship is over, a list of the claimants would be published, the Chief Minister said. The number would be “negligible”, he insisted.

“It is certain that granting of citizenship cannot have any impact on our social construct. Clause 6 of the Assam Accord grants constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social and linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people,” he said.

Appealing to the people to maintain calm and not be swayed by “misinformation”, Sonowal said his government would always work for their best interests.

“I have invited the leaders of the anti-citizenship law agitation for talks across the table, as I believe that is the only way forward. I believe, together, we can chalk out a solution... everything is possible,” he added.

Published on December 20, 2019
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