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    We expected some protests while tabling citizenship amendment bill: Himanta Biswa Sarma

    Synopsis

    Assam government has asked the headmasters in school to ensure that students do not participate in protest programme during the school hours and school uniform. The present protest against CAB is led by student organisations.

    Himanta Biswa Sarma
    GUWAHATI: While series of protests is taking place across Assam following the Union cabinet clearing the tabling of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAB) in the winter session of parliament, Assam finance minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said that government was expecting protests.

    Assam government has asked the headmasters in school to ensure that students do not participate in protest programme during the school hours and school uniform. The present protest against CAB is led by student organisations.

    Sarma while talking to media persons said, “We anticipated the protest. However meeting with several organisations of Northeast India with Union Home minister, Amit Shah has created a positive environment.”

    He said, “On December 9 when Shah will speak in parliament for CAB more positives will be generated.”

    The bill aimed at making minority communities such as Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible to apply for Indian citizenship is likely to be tabled in Lok Sabha on December 9.

    North East Students’ Organization (NESO) called for Northeast India bandh on December 10 against CAB.

    Sarma said government ask investigating agencies to probe the financial irregularities of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

    Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) have detected financial irregularities to the tune of Rs 108 Crore in recently updated NRC in Assam.

    Supreme Court monitored NRC exercise started in December 2013. The Office of Accountant General (Audit) had submitted to State Coordinator, NRC the inspection report of the office of State Coordinator, NRC for the period April 1, 2014 to December 3, 2017 with a request to furnish reply to the Inspection Report within one month.

    Sarma said, “ In 2017 NRC co-coordinator, Prateek Hajela has sent reply to queries of Accountant general however in most of the cases Accountant general was not satisfied and sought further clarification. Earlier the organisation has audited upto Rs 800 Crore fund now in the final report total Rs 1600 Crore spend on NRCexercise will be audited.”

    The finance minister said "once the final report is placed in the state assembly, which we are expecting in next session of the state assembly, assessing the quantum of money involved investigating agencies from Centre or state will engaged to probe irregularities.”

    The final NRC was published on August 31 last found a total of 3, 11, 21,004 persons eligible for inclusion in the registry leaving out 19, 06,657 persons.

    BJP has been unhappy over the final NRC and has stated as NRC authority refused to accept refugee certificate issued prior 1971 as a result of which large scale Bengalee Hindu, Koch Rajbonshi and Buddhist people got excluded from NRC.

    The Supreme Court has earlier ordered transfer of NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela following which Hajela has moved to Madhya Pradesh.
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