New Delhi: The Citizenship Bill, seeking to provide citizenship to non-Muslims migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh is expected to be tabled in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday amidst ongoing protest in Northeast.
With the winter session coming to an end on Wednesday, the Central government will try to give one last push so that the bill gets the Upper House nod.
The Bill has created a furore in Mizoram and kicked up a storm in the northeast. Indigenous people of the region are afraid that identity would be lost if the Bill was enacted. The civil societies are apprehending that the Bill would endanger the very existence of the sons of the soil — Mizos — as citizenship to around 1 lakh Buddhist Chakmas from Bangladesh would be granted.
On Tuesday, an indefinite curfew was imposed in Manipur capital Imphal and mobile internet services suspended till February 16 across the state in view of the continued protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The state capital straddles Imphal East and Imphal West districts.
While roads were deserted in both the districts, police personnel were seen informing people through loudspeakers about the imposition of the curfew and asking them to stay indoors. Security forces had also set up barricades on major roads. Markets, schools, colleges and offices were closed, officials said.
Notably, the bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant Indian nationality to people belonging to minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12, even if they don’t possess any proper document. This was an election promise of the BJP in 2014.
The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8 and has been awaiting the Rajya Sabha nod.