GUWAHATI, OCT 6 (AGENCIES) |Union Home minister Amit Shah— in separate meetings with Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga, NGOs and civil society organisations in Aizawl on Saturday— had assured that a special clause will be incorporated in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill so that their state, along with Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, is not affected by settlement of people from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who are granted Indian citizenship, a TOI report stated.
The three states are governed by the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system that regulates the entry of people from other states.
“The home minister has decided that a kind of special clause will be incorporated in the proposed bill that will have special provision for Mizoram. The home ministry wants us to propose the special clause before the bill is introduced in Parliament,” said Zoramthanga after his meeting with Shah. The special clause will incorporate the ILP, he added.
Zoramthanga had also cautioned Amit Shah that the proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955 could “open floodgate of illegal immigrants” to the North East state.
Vanlalruata, chairman of Mizo NGO Cordination Committee, added: “We have been assured that the ILP will be there and will continue to safeguard us against foreign infiltrators. It will be applicable to other NE states as well where the ILP is in force.” He added that Shah has agreed to discuss the draft legislation before taking it to Parliament.
“Shah said the ILP regime would be strengthened so that the Citizenship Amendment Bill does not have adverse effects in the state,” said a statement issued by the committee.
Earlier, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio had also pointed out that the “highly controversial” Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will change the demography of Northeast, if it is implemented by the Centre. Strongly opposing the bill in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the 4th NEDA conclave in Guwahati on September 9, Rio said all the NE states had resolved earlier that they would not let the legislation affect the region. “We believe it will change the demography of the North East. We need to understand the ground situation,” Rio said. He hoped that Shah and the Centre would “listen to us”.
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma had also told the Union Home Minster Amit Shah that North East has fears on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and urged him to take all the states of the region into confidence before bringing in the legislation again.
The proposed bill, which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who took shelter in India till December 31, 2014 after fleeing religious persecution, was passed in the Lok Sabha during the Modi government’s earlier tenure. The bill, however, lapsed.
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