The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday with 293 'Ayes' and 82 'Noes'.
Home minister Amit Shah tabled the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha even as protests continued in the Parliament complex and elsewhere in Delhi on Monday opposing the Bill.
Shah rejected allegations of opposition members, saying "I assure that the Bill does not violate any Article of the Indian Constitution and that any citizen will not be deprived of their rights".
"Every citizen has been given place in the Bill on the basis of reasonable classification."
He said that the Bill seeks to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. "The Bill is for those minorities who faced religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh."The minister clarified that the Muslim community was not persecuted in the three Islamic countries.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Minority outfits have lashed out against the Bill for leaving out Muslims and also on the ground that it is at odds with the Constitution, which does not differentiate between citizens on the basis of religion.
"We reject this bill. It is against the Constitution and against Hindu-Muslim unity," Badruddin Ajmal, Lok Sabha AIUDF MP from Dhubri, Assam, said in an interaction with reporters.
Not only in the capital, but protests have also been intensifying against the Bill elsewhere in the country.
In Assam, the protesters were seen targeting lawmakers wherever they find them. On Sunday, anti-Bill protesters showed black flags to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in Guwahati and Kaliabor in Central Assam as his convoy passed through.
In Assam’s Golaghat district, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) president and state Agriculture Minister Atul Bora got stranded as protesters gheraoed his private residence there. Several other leaders including ministers, MPs and MLAs had to face the wrath of angry protesters.
Beginning midnight of Sunday, the Manipur People against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 (MANPAC), a conglomerate of 88 CSOs of the state, has called for a 50-hour mass protest that will continue till Wednesday morning.
The Tripura United Indigenous Peoples Council (TUIPC), a joint body of 48 returnee insurgents’ organisations, has called for a 50-hour Tripura bandh beginning Monday in demand of a withdrawal of the redrafted Bill.
The North East Students' Organisation (NESO) comprising of all student organisations of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura, has been long demanding that the entire region be exempted from Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
(Inputs from IANS)