What is Citizenship Amendment Bill and how it will help refugees

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Published: October 1, 2019 5:00:44 PM

"Before NRC, the BJP government is going to bring the Citizen Amendment Bill. All Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Christian refugees who have come to India under this bill will be given citizenship of India forever," Amit Shah said while addressing a mega rally organised to dispel fears on NRC.

citizenship bill, citizenship bill 2019, citizenship amendment bill, amit shah, amit shah news, nrc, nrc news, nrc assam, nrc upThe Citizenship Amendment Bill-2019 seeks to facilitate the acquisition of citizenship by six minority communities — Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Buddhists, and Christians. (BJP/Twitter)

Amit Shah in Bengal: Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday assured refugees from neighboring countries that they will not be evicted from India and the central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will grant them citizenship under the new proposed law — Citizenship Amendment Bill-2019. “Before NRC, the BJP government is going to bring the Citizen Amendment Bill. All Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Christian refugees who have come to India under this bill will be given citizenship of India forever,” Amit Shah said while addressing a mega rally organized to dispel fears on NRC.

Here’s a brief summary of what the Citizenship Amendment Bill is and how it will help refugees staying in India.

What is Citizenship Amendment Bill?

The Citizenship Amendment Bill seeks to facilitate the acquisition of citizenship by six minority communities — Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Buddhists, and Christians from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who came to India before December 31, 2014. The Bill will apply to all States and Union Territories of India. The beneficiaries of the Bill can reside in any state of the country.

Why is BJP bringing this Bill?

The Bharatiya Janata Party believes that these six minority communities have faced worst discrimination and religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The party says that these persecuted people have no place to go to, except India. The proposed law will provide relief to persecuted migrants who have come through western borders (or from Pakistan) of the country to States like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, and other states.

Migrants from these communities were earlier given protection against legal action in the years 2015 and 2016. The Centre had made a long term visa provision to help these people.

How will the Bill help refugees?

The proposed amendment in the existing Citizenship Bill will make these persecuted migrants eligible to apply for citizenship. As per proposed norms, the citizenship will be given only after due scrutiny and recommendation of district authorities and the State Government. The proposed law has brought down the requirement of minimum residency period — for citizenship — from existing 12 years under the present law to 7 years.

What’s the status of the Bill?

The Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha in 2016. Then it was referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee. This year in January, the Committee submitted its report to Parliament. The Bill was then taken into consideration and passed by Lok Sabha on January 8. It was pending for consideration and passing by the Rajya Sabha. However, the Bill got lapsed after the dissolution of 16th Lok Sabha.

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