Sonowal calls Rajnath for extension of Foreigners Tribunals in Assam

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Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has called on Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday and has requested for immediate extension of the term of the Foreigners Tribunal for five more years.

The CM said that at present 100 Foreigners Tribunals are functioning in Assam out of which 64 Tribunals were created in 2014 in compliance with the Supreme Court directions for a period of two years. As validity of these Tribunals has expired on 9th February, 2016, the Chief Minister requested the Union Home Minister to extend the Tribunal’s validity for smooth settlement of foreigners’ issue.

Terming NRC updation in Assam as a historic process, the chief minister requested the home minister for early release of fund for speedy implementation of NRC updation. Chief minister Sonowal said that the state government has already submitted a revised proposal of Rs 882 crore to Union government considering the huge scope of NRC works.

He also said that the state government had earlier submitted a proposal for Rs 489 crore to the Union Government for NRC updation against which Rs 288 crore was released.

Informing the Union minister about the progress of NRC updation process, the chief minister said that a total 68.21 lakh families have applied for inclusion in the updated NRC and a total of 6.67 crore documents are being verified.

Reiterating the state government’s commitment to completely seal the Indo-Bangla border, the chief minister requested the Union home minister to hand over the border fencing construction to Indian Army as was done in the case of Indo-Pak border in Jammu & Kashmir. Sonowal informed the Union home minister that he had personally visited the Indo-Bangla border areas in Dhubri sector in South Salmara Division. The total length of the Indo-Bangla border is 280 kms in Assam, out of which a 71 km portion is unfenced in patches. A 60 km border area within this unfenced portion is riverine which requires specialized technology to completely seal the border, Sonowal informed.

The chief minister has also requested the Union home minister for additional companies of paramilitary forces to maintain law & order in the state in the coming months. The chief minister also discussed about the possibility of raising Indian Reserved Battalion in the state with the Union home minister. The Union minister asked the state government to place a proposal for the same and assured that the initial fund for raising the force will be provided by the central government.

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