Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019: Ahead of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill’s (CAB) tabling in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday after smooth sailing in the Lok Sabha, reports of violence are coming from across the Northeast region that has opposed the contentious bill aimed at giving citizenship rights to non-Muslim refugees. Earlier, the North East Students’ Organization had called for an 11-hour shutdown against the passing of the controversial legislation.
Internet and SMS services have been suspended in Tripura to prevent rumor-mongering. The government has decided to impose the ban on communication services for 48 hours. According to reports, the step was taken after rumors afloat that violence broke out between tribal and non-tribals in several areas of the state.
The inhabitants of Northeast states are up in arms against the Centre, fearing the influx of immigrants in the region will create problems for its indigenous people. The protesters said that giving citizenship rights to illegal immigrants will pose a threat to their culture and identity. Security was beefed up across the region.
In Assam, the protesters clashed with the police after the latter tried to disperse the anti-CAB demonstrators. They had taken out a protest march. Reports said that police also resorted to tear gas shelling. However, no injuries were reported.
Meanwhile, the Opposition has harshly criticized the Narendra Modi-led government for passing what it termed as anti-Muslim and unconstitutional legislation in the Lok Sabha. Even, the federal US commission on international religious freedom has opposed the government move. It also sought US sanctions against Home Minister Amit Shah.
Meanwhile, if passed by the Rajya Sabha, the CAB will the government to give Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, the three neighboring countries. Immigrants following Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, and Parsis from these countries will be given citizenship. Muslims have been excluded.