Millennium Post

Not a single illegal immigrant would be allowed in NE: Shah

Not a single illegal immigrant would be allowed in NE: Shah

Guwahati: The Centre will "not touch" Article 371 of the Indian Constitution that is applicable to the Northeast and not a single illegal immigrant would be allowed in the region, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Sunday.

After Article 370 was abrogated in Jammu and Kashmir, there were attempts to "misinform and misguide" the people of the Northeast that Article 371 would be scrapped by the Centre, the Home Minister said in his inaugural address at the 68th plenary session of the North East Council (NEC) here.

"I have clarified in Parliament that this is not going to happen and I am saying it again today in the presence of eight chief ministers of the Northeast that both the Articles are different and the Centre will not touch Article 371," Shah said.

The Constituent Assembly had framed Article 370 as a temporary provision but Article 371 is about special provisions in the Northeast and there is a vast difference between the two, Shah said.

"I think it is important to clarify the difference between the two. Let me make it clear that the Prime Minister and the BJP government respects Article 371 and 371 (A)," he said.

Most of the States that have been accorded special provisions under Article 371 are in the Northeast and the special status aims to preserve their tribal culture.

There was an attempt to give a wrong message that the BJP-led government would scrap Article 371 and this was done by people who did not want peace in the Northeast or the region to become an engine of development, Shah said.

On the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Home Minister said, "Questions are being raised about the NRC by different sections but today I just want to say this that the BJP-led government is committed to ensure that not a single illegal immigrant enters the region." The NRC has also been completed within the stipulated time-frame, he added.

Shah's visit comes just days after the publication of the final NRC in the state on August 31.

Pointing out that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi there has been a "drastic decline" in terrorism and militant activities, Shah said, "I do not want to quote statistics but the entire country and the world knows that we have been able to control it."

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