Guwahati: Thousands of people including students protested in the streets of Mizoram against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The protestors also carried out rallies headed by Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) from Aizawl’s seven district headquarters and at 50 other places.
The protestors also burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh by raising slogans and carrying play-cards. The agitators also demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister alleging that the controversial bill will endanger the very existence of the Mizos.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8, seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India even if they do not possess any document.
The Home Ministry on Tuesday said that the Indian Citizenship would not be granted to any foreigner without the consent of the state governments concerned after the passage of the said bill.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, which is strongly opposed by a large section of people and organisations in the Northeast, seeks to provide Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities — Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and Christians from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after they have stayed in India for seven years, instead of 12 years at present which is applicable to those who came to India before December 31, 2014.
The six religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan were earlier given a special dispensation for grant of long term visas.
People belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhism, Jain, Parsi and Christian religions from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan will have to prove they belonged to any of the three countries and were persecuted on religious lines among other things for granting Indian citizenship.
A large section of people and organizations in the Northeast have opposed the Bill saying it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants irrespective of religion.