India's Move to Legitimise Migrants From Neighbouring Countries Sparks Protests

India's Move to Legitimise Migrants From Neighbouring Countries Sparks Protests

AAPSU members burnt copies of the citizenship amendment bill on the streets of Itanagar and Naharlagun, and shops and institutes remained closed till 4 pm.

Withdrawal of the AGP, which has 14 MLAs in the 126-member assembly, will not have any immediate effect on the future of the Sarbananda Sonowal-led government that still has the backing of 74 MLAs. "The Government of India by introducing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in Parliament has violated the understanding", it had said in a letter.

"The Bill is contrary to the Bharatiya Janata Party's avowed objective to save race, land and hearth".

An investigation has been initiated into the bomb attack on the BJP office, said Davis N.R. Marak, superintendent of police of East Khasi Hills district.

Replying to a debate on the Bill, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, the bill is not just for Assam but for other states too.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 will amend the laws governing citizenship, formed in 1955, to grant Indian nationality to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who fled religious persecution from the three neighbouring countries and entered India before December 31, 2014.

The Bill was cleared at a meeting of the Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and it's expected to be tabled in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, an official privy to the development said.

Critics say the bill, which offers preferential treatment to certain groups seeking citizenship, is a transparent pitch to voters as Hindu-majority India prepares for the world's largest election.

The NESO and its federal units in the seven Northeast states clamped the 11-hour bandh across the region on 8 January to protest against the bill.

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Soon after the Bill was moved, leader of Congress in the House Mallikarjun Kharge said that his party has several reservations on the Bill.

The AGP president announced the party's decision after he met the Union home minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi.

The bill - aggressively pushed by the BJP-led government - has become a political and social flashpoint, particularly in the backdrop of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) being updated in Assam.

However, state BJP president Ranjit Dass, specifically warning the Congress and the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti which were allegedly behind the acts of violence on his party's offices, said, "Do not provoke us".

The severance of alliance with the BJP, however, would not make the government fall in Assam.

Two, it goes against the provisions of the 1985 Assam Accord as well as the sentiments of the indigenous Assamese people who have been opposed to all immigrants, irrespective of religion. "There is a divisive nature to this bill and the draft committee has shot down all suggested amendments", Professor Sougata Roy, a member of parliament from Trinamool Congress, said during the protest.

Bora said the AGP is thankful to the parties who supported it and opposed the bill.

The AGP had placed its reservations on the Bill before the Joint Parliamentary Committee when the panel had visited the state and also tried to mobilise opinion against the Bill among NDA constituents such as the JD (U) and Shiv Sena, and opposition parties.

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