CAB: Trust sevak Modi, says PM as protests grip Assam

CAB: Trust sevak Modi, says PM as protests grip Assam

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Getty images)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday issued an appeal to the people of Assam, assuring them that no one can take away their rights and that they have nothing to worry after the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Modi's appeal early Thursday morning came as violence and arson gripped parts of Assam as thousands took to the streets to protest against the CAB, contending that its implementation could change the demography of the state.

“I want to assure them (people of Assam) – no one can take away your rights, unique identity and beautiful culture. It will continue to flourish and grow,” the prime minister said leading the outreach efforts to get the messaging right on the CAB.

Modi said the central government and he himself were totally committed to safeguarding the rights of the Assamese people

Follow live updates of protest in Assam against CAB here

“The central government and I are totally committed to constitutionally safeguard the political, linguistic, cultural and land rights of the Assamese people as per the spirit of Clause 6,” he said.

Clause 6 of the Assam Accord refers to constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.

Addressing a rally in Dhanbad, Modi urged the people of Assam to “trust your sevak Modi”.

“...please trust your sevak Modi. I assure you that I will not allow any harm to the traditions, culture, language and rights of the Northeast,” the prime minister said at an election rally in Jharkhand.

Violent protests spiralled in parts of the Northeast, forcing the Army to carry out flag marches in some areas and prompting airlines and railways to cancel their services.

Protesters say the Bill was against the Assam Accord of 1985 which had set the deadline for detection and deportation of foreigners at 1971. Many fear that the new Bill will burden Assam with more immigrants from Bangladesh, thereby altering the demography of the state.

The CAB has exempted from its purview the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and areas covered under the Inner Line Permit, notified under Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.

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