The controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 will not be applicable in Assam if the Government of India implements all the recommendations of the Committee formed to implement the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
As per the provisions of the CAA, the Government proposes to give Indian citizenship to the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and who entered India on or before 31 December 2014.
However, the CAA will not be applicable in the areas covered under the Inner Line Permit system. On the other hand, the Committee on Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, headed by Justice (Retd) Biplab Sarma, has recommended that Inner Line Permit system should be introduced in Assam. If the Government implements this recommendation, the CAA will not be applicable in Assam.
Moreover, the Committee recommended implementation of all the clauses of the Assam Accord. The Committee, in its report, said, “complete implementation of all clauses of Assam Accord, especially Clauses 5.1 to 5.9 and Clauses 7,10 and 11 are essential for the safeguards to be provided under Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.” The Clauses 5.1 to 5.9 are the key clauses of the Accord, which pertain to detection and deportation of foreigners living in Assam. As per Clause 5.7 of the Accord, the foreigners who came to Assam on or after March 25, 1971 would be detected and practical steps would be taken to expel them from the country. Implementation of that clause will negate the CAA, which aims to provide citizenship to certain sections of foreigners who came up to 2014.
It may be mentioned here that the Committee recommended that the Accord should be fully implemented without any further delay by drawing up a time bound action plan. The Committee said that the procedure for detection of foreigners in Assam should be strengthened by applying the same procedure for detection of foreigners applicable in the entire country. The report said that the Government should pursue diplomatic initiative with the Government of Bangladesh for deportation of post 1971 foreigners.
The Committee further suggested that till such deportation is completed, as an interim measure, the post 1971 migrants should resettled outside Assam. After accepting the foreigners who came between 1951 to 1971, it is not possible for Assam to shoulder the burden of post 1971 migrants and there should be equitable distribution of such persons in the entire country, the report said.
If all the recommendations of the Committee are accepted it will not be possible to implement the CAA in Assam as the recommendations clearly stated that Assam should not be given the burden of foreigners who came after 1971.
It may be mentioned here that the Union Home Minister Amit Shah had assured the Parliament that the Government would implement the recommendations of the Committee immediately after receiving it, while, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also made such promise in public meetings. The report was handed over to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on February 25 and till date, the Centre has not officially made its stand clear on the issue.