Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016

Why in news ?
Proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has been termed as Anti-Assam by Assamese regional parties, who along with locals are engaged in a series of protest against the bill.

What is Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016

The government has introduced "Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016" in parliament in July 2016, to amend Citizenship Act, 1955, the bill seeks to achieve following things:

1) The bill seeks to provide citizenship to illegal migrants, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who are of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian communities.

2) Changes in conditions regarding acquiring "citizenship by naturalisation", by reduce the requirement of 11 years of continuous stay in the country to six years.

While seeking to provide citizenship to illegal migrants of 6 minorities (Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian), it excludes Muslims like Shias and Ahmadis who also face persecution in Pakistan.

Why the bill is opposed ?

According to "Assam Accord (1985)", signed between the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the AASU; March 24, 1971, was decided as the cut off date for migrants from Bangladesh into Assam. As per the accord all persons coming to Assam after March 24, 1971 are illegal immigrants and should be deported back.

Supreme Court of India has ordered to update NRC (National Register of Citizens of India) in Assam to detect Bangladeshi nationals who might have entered the State illegally after the midnight of March 24, 1971.

If the bill is passed that is to provide citizenship on the basis of religion, it is contradictory to NRC which does not distinguish people on the basis of religion.

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