Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

LS passes contentious citizenship bill; Oppn calls it 'divisive', 'flawed'

LS passes contentious citizenship bill; Oppn calls it 'divisive', 'flawed'

Meanwhile, Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday asked the people to keep calm as the state government would never do anything to harm their interests.

The BJP says it is in favor of institutionalizing "constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards" to the ethnic Assamese, but also wants to give citizenship to Hindus from Bangladesh as the growth in the Hindu population of Assam had been overtaken by that of Muslims.

The AASU and other organization opposing the bill are saying that the provisions of the bill will nullify the 1985 Assam Accord, which provides for deportation of all illegal migrants, irrespective of religion, who had entered the state after March, 1971.

"Six tribal youths while demonstrating against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill turned violent at Madhab Bari in western Tripura". The indigenous people have been opposing the bill as they feel that granting citizenship status to immigrants will erode their limited opportunities in terms of employment and other social benefits.

"We did not organise any movement on Tuesday as part of the opposition to the Citizenship Bill", said Debbarma, also the IPFT's chief spokesman.

"We have been agitating against the Bill for quite some now and with the Centre apparently intent on getting the proposed legislation passed, we have decided that we will return the awards that were conferred on the martyrs in 2016 by the state government here", Rajen Deka, president of the Parishad, formed in 1989, told The Shillong Times on Tuesday.

Roy said there was no effort to evolve a consensus in the Joint Committee of Parliament that examined the bill.

The IPFT is also a member of Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance NEDA (North East Democratic Alliance), convener of which is BJP-led Assam government's powerful minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

AASU and several organisations also observed Monday as a black day.

Police said that protesters threw stones at officers.

The decision to snap the ties followed an AGP delegation's meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi during which he asserted that the government will ensure the passage of the Citizenship Bill in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

The Congress, TMC, CPI (M) and a few other parties were steadfastly opposing the bill claiming citizenship can not be given on basis of religion, as India is secular.

Introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016, the Bill seeks to enable Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh without valid travel documents or those whose valid documents expired in recent years to acquire Indian citizenship through the process of naturalisation.

Bill to be tabled in Lok Sabha today; nude protests in Delhi, Assam.

CoHSO Chairman Robertjune Kharjahrin said the Citizenship Amendment Bill was a threat not only to the indigenous tribals in the NorthEast but a national security threat as well.

The BJP leader maintained that his party isn't the first to take up the cause of Hindu refugees.

There has been a strong opposition in Assam and other north eastern states against the bill, especially after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address in Silichar last Friday when he said,"The Citizenship Bill is an atonement of the wrong that was done during India's Partition".

BJP allies Shiv Sena and JD-U have announced that they would oppose the bill in Parliament.

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