Watch | All about the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019

The Cabinet cleared the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and it will be introduced in Parliament on December 9, 2019. Further, a Bill to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 will likely be introduced in two days.

The CAB seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India on or before December 31, 2014. They include Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Parsi, Jain and Sikh who face persecution in the three countries.

The Citizenship Bill says the six non-Muslim communities “shall not be treated as illegal migrant”. The Bill also proposes to protect the applicants under this category from all pending legal cases, with regard to illegal migration.

The beneficiaries would be the non-Muslims out of the over 19 lakh people who were excluded from Assam’s NRC, published on August 31, 2019.

The Bill will enable a person from the six communities to apply for citizenship, even without a proof of birth, just by staying in India for six years However, the Citizenship Bill shall not apply to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura.

It shall not apply to Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland that are protected by Inner Line Permit (ILP). As per the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1873, citizens of other States require ILP to visit the three States.

Northeast States staged a protest against the Bill as it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985. The Assam Accord fixed March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants, irrespective of religion. Northeast States oppose the CAB saying that granting citizenship to foreign refugees might create demographic or ethnic changes there.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 12:05:16 PM |

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