Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 remains in news for last two years but recently it become again a burning issue due to protests occur in Assam. There were two waves of protests one was against the bill and another was in favour. All happened during and after the visit of Joint Parliamentary Committee to Assam and Meghalaya to collect feedback. Moreover, in Brahmaputra Valley the protests were against the bill on the other side Barak Valley saw the protests in Bil’s support.
Basically, this bill aims to amend the Citizenship Act 1955 to allow Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan to apply for Indian citizenship. This Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha by the government on 19 July 2016, relaxing the eleven years cutoff to six years out of fourteen, for the immigrants of six religions from three countries. The controversy is, this bill is not letting Muslims get the Indian citizenship as easily as these six religions. Moreover, the government also passed two notifications exempting such immigrants from the Foreigners Act 1946 and Passport Act 1920- which provide for Deportation. These notifications enabled them to live in India If they have arrived before December 31, 2014. Meanwhile, this is a violation of Article 14 which states that there can be no discrimination between two religious groups.
Another reason for opposing this bill is that the people of northeast don’t want immigrants in their place whether they are from any religion because the population of native people of Assam and Meghalaya is declining day by day because inclining immigrants. The native people of Assam don’t want to be a minority in their own area. Furthermore, they people think that this bill is also against 1985 Assam Accord signed between the Rajiv Gandhi government and leaders of Assam. Moreover, how the deportation will be held for illegal immigrants.
Meanwhile, when JPC(Joint Parliamentary Committee) went to Guwahati(Brahmaputra Valley), Silchar(Barak Valley), Shillong (Meghalaya) recently. In Guwahati 135 groups submitted memorandums- one was signed in blood, objecting to the bill.