New Delhi: Amid the ongoing protest in the northeastern states over the were, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday gave his assent to the contentious legislation, turning it into an Act.
According to an official notification, the law comes into effect with its publication in the official gazette on Thursday.
According to the Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was cleared by Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha had passed the Bill on Monday after fiery debates.
The bill has triggered massive protests in the northeastern states, particularly in Assam. Yesterday, the protest escalated with three people dying in police firing in Guwahati. The protesters also set the house of an MLA and a circle office ablaze, while the government removed two key police officers on Thursday.
Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Modi urged people of Assam to stay calm and assured them that they had nothing to worry . Modi, in a series of tweets in both English and Assamese, said the identity of the people of Assam will be preserved and will continue to grow.
“I want to assure them – no-one can take away your rights, unique identity and beautiful culture. It will continue to flourish and grow,” he tweeted.
In view of the protests, several trains and flights have been cancelled to and from Guwahati and Dibrugarh.
“Indigo Airlines has cancelled one flight to Guwahati from Kolkata. The flights to Dibrugarh are being cancelled by most airlines due to the ongoing protests. However, Indigo will operate a ferry flight to bring back the stranded passengers from Dibrugarh,” NSCBI Airport stated.