Discussions on citizenship bill going on: Meghalaya CM

A day after protests were held in the northeastern states against the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday said discussions are taking place to address concerns of the people about the legislation.

He said the state government is looking for a "positive response" from the Centre to address the issues raised by the people.

"Right now, there is a lot of discussions and consultations taking place. We have been asked about the issues and how these can be addressed," Conrad, told PTI.

Sangma had met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and urged the Centre to withhold the CAB in its current form.

"We are looking for a positive response (from the Centre). Let us see if our concerns and issues are addressed in time."

Last year, the state government had passed a resolution to oppose the CAB in its current form, he said, adding there is "no need for another resolution against the CAB".

The bill is proposed to be introduced in the current winter session of Parliament, which began on Monday.

Khasi Students Union, an influential student body in the state, held a sit-in near the third secretariat here on Monday protesting against the contentious bill, which, it said, will have a negative impact on the people of the entire region.

A group of anti-CAB protesters launched a stay of the road protest from 7 pm on Monday till 6 am on Tuesday.

The North East Students Organisation (NESO), an umbrella organization of student unions, had also submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah against CAB through the governors of the northeastern states.

"We are in touch with the stakeholders. I do not see any reason for protests," Sangma said.

The CAB was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8 this year but was not tabled in Rajya Sabha and lapsed. It seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years of residence in India even if they do not possess any document.

In view of the protest, the state home department has tightened up security arrangements especially in the state capital to prevent untoward incidents, an official said.

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