New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who, on Saturday, was on a day-long visit to Mizoram, also his first visit there since taking charge of the Home Ministry, assured Chief Minister Zoramthanga and civil society groups that the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) will be tweaked to safeguard the interests of the state.
The Home Minister’s assurance comes amid fears in the state, as in rest of north-east India that implementation of the CAB will result in a flood of illegal immigrants to Mizoram. There have also been several anti-CAB protests in the region.
According to reports, Shah, who is also the national president of the BJP, told the Mizoram Chief Minister that he would ensure that the bill does not override a long-standing special provision that regulates the unabated entry of outsiders into the state. He also said that special emphasis will be given to protecting Mizoram’s inner line permit (ILP).
The ILP, which is an official document issued by the Government of India, allows inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period.
Speaking to reporters after the interaction, Chief Minister Zoramthanga said, “As far as the Citizenship Amendment Bill is concerned, the Home Minister has assured that a new clause, related to the inner line permit regime in Mizoram, will be incorporated in the draft bill. We will work this out with the Home Ministry.” He also described his meeting with the Home Minister as ‘good.’
Earlier, an official statement from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said that the CAB 2019 could open a floodgate of illegal immigrants in Mizoram.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill proposes making illegal migrants from minority communities like Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship.