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Not possible to provide proof of religious persecution: Assam FM Himanta Biswa Sarma

Assam finance minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma said no one can give proof of religious persecution or fear of religious persecution however a person who will apply for Citizenship under Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) must give some evidence that he was in Assam prior to 2014.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 18, 2020, 11.14 AM IST
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About the rules he said there will be a small window to establish citizenship under the CAA.

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Guwahati: Assam finance minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma said no one can give proof of religious persecution or fear of religious persecution however a person who will apply for Citizenship under Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) must give some evidence that he was in Assam prior to 2014.

Talking to media persons after his meeting with Union Home minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Thursday, Sarma said, "We cannot rule where a person has to prove that he is religiously persecuted. If we have this rule one will have to go Bangladesh and obtain from a police station that he was religiously persecuted. Why a police station in Bangladesh will do this, why will Bangladesh give any such documents?"

He said, “However government of India through in house procedure in the back office and its agencies will assess if a particular applicant was there in the place he is mentioning. Rules for CAA are being made. The State government has held discussion with the Centre. And once the rules are ready, the State government will be in a position to remove the misconception about the number of people who would get citizenship,” he said.

About the rules he said there will be a small window to establish citizenship under the CAA. He said, “In Assam while 3 to 5 lakh people will be eligible to apply in West Bengal around one Crore people will be eligible to apply.”

All Assam Students Union (AASU) general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said, “This proves what we having been saying that under CAA anyone can get Citizenship randomly as there is no question of religious persecution and therefore Assam will be flooded with foreigners.”

The Act, which aims to make minority communities such as Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible to apply for Indian citizenship is being challenged in the Supreme Court. The court has issued a notice to the Centre on a batch of 59 petitions challenging the validity of CAA. The next date of hearing is January 22.

On Friday there was protest in different places of Assam against CAA.

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