Citizenship Bill In Rajya Sabha Today Amid Protests In Northeast

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 will be moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Rajya Sabha today

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Protests have broken out across Northeast over Citizenship Amendment Bill


New Delhi: 

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, which seeks to provide citizenship to six minority groups from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, will be presented in Rajya Sabha today amid protests in the northeast against it.

The Bill will be moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Amid disruptions in the house, the government is expected to make one last effort to push this Bill through the Rajya Sabha today.

The states in the northeast including Meghalaya, Assam, Mizoram and Manipur, have been seeing wide scale protests ever since the controversial Bill was introduced and passed in Lok Sabha in January.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 will amend the laws governing citizenship, formed in 1955, to grant Indian nationality to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who fled religious persecution from the three neighbouring countries and entered India before December 31, 2014.

The political parties and the civil society opposing the proposed law say it would allow citizenship to illegal Hindu migrants from Bangladesh, who came to the state after March 1971, in violation to the Assam Accord, 1985.

Illegal migration is a sensitive issue in the northeast, where tribals and other ethnic communities wish to keep out the outsiders.

"The burden of those persecuted migrants will be shared by the whole country. Assam alone should not have to bear the entire burden," Union minister Rajnath Singh had said while responding to the debate on the Bill in Lok Sabha. "The government of India is committed to give all help to the state government and people of Assam," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also said his government is committed towards safeguarding the rights and interests of the people of the northeast.

"Those who sit in AC rooms in Delhi, who fight us in the parliament are spreading misinformation. But the BJP is committed to protecting the culture and resources of Assam and the northeast. The Clause 6, which is the soul of Assam Accord, has remained unimplemented for the last 35 years and our government will implement it in letter and spirit," PM Modi said during a rally in Assam last week.

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