Union Home Minister Amit Shah tabled the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha on December 11th, 2019 amid strong opposition and widespread protests in Assam.
The bill seeks to grant citizenship to the people belonging to the Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Parsis who have become the victims of religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan and entered India on or before December 31st, 2014.
“There has been an almost 20% decline each in a population of religious minorities in both Pakistan and present-day Bangladesh. Either they were killed or they fled to India for shelter,” said Shah at the Rajya Sabha today.
He added, “I want to make it clear that the bill is not against the minorities. The bill is for the people who faced religious persecution in the neighbouring countries. There are rumour mongers that the bill is unsafe for the Muslims. I want to make it clear that no Muslims should be afraid of the bill.”
The agitators said that the Bill nullifies the historic Assam Accord which has fixed March 24th, 1971 as the cut-off to identify illegal foreigners.
Photo credit: Economic Times