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Citizenship Amendment Act – MEA Stretched to Manage External Fallout

Published Dec 16, 2019
Updated Feb 05, 2020

The cryptic statement by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Official Spokesperson’s response to a query regarding cancellation of visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India gave no explanation but it was obvious that the upsurge of violence Assam in the run up to the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill now and Act (CAA) could be a key factor.

In response to a queries regarding the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India, the Official Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “With reference to the proposed visit of Japanese PM Abe to India, both sides have decided to defer the visit to a mutually convenient date in the near future.”

This would be seen as the second external fall out of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)

Earlier two ministers from Bangladesh due to visit India cancelled their visit claiming involvement in functions at home related to the Independence on 16th December.

The annual India Japan summit was to be held from December 15-17 in Guwahati though the place had not been announced by the two sides. Preparations had been ongoing an a Japanese team was in Guwahati to make a final assessment but could not move in the City due to the impact of the violence in the capital as well as in a number of states in the North East. In Assam two persons were killed and many injured in clashes with the police. Army was also called out in parts of the state for flag march.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan cancelled their scheduled trips to India.

The Foreign minister was scheduled to fly to Delhi to attend the Indian Ocean Dialogue and Delhi Dialogue XI. During his three-day visit, Momen was also expected to meet Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on the side lines of the Indian Ocean Dialogue. This newspaper could not reach the minister for comments.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan was to fly to Meghalaya at the invitation of its Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma. However protests in the capital Shillong prevented the Minister from traveling there,

Bangladesh also protested an attack on the convoy of its assistant high commissioner in Guwahati and vandalism of signposts near the mission.

Acting foreign secretary of Bangladesh, Kamrul Ahsan, lodged the protest with Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das when the latter met him at the foreign ministry in Dhaka.

Dhaka has been upset over comments by the Indian Home Minister Amit Shah on torture of Hindu communities in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Authorities have cited excellent communal harmony in the country.

With growing resentment in the US and some EU countries on the signal of reducing diversity in India managing response from key partners in the neighbourhood as Bangladesh and the Indo Pacific as Japan and the US and EU may be some of the key challenges faced by the MEA in the wake of CAA