Union Home Minister Amit Shah on October 5th, 2019 assured that a special clause will be incorporated in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB so that Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh is not affected by the settlement of people from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who are granted Indian citizenship.
This was announced by Shah in two separate meetings that he held with Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga, NGOs and civil society organizations of Aizawl. In the meeting with Shah, Zoramthanga mentioned that the home ministry wants them to propose a special clause before the bill is introduced in the Parliament.
The special clause will incorporate the Inner Line Permit (ILP) that regulates the entry of people from other states.
It may be mentioned that the ILP is an official travel document issued by the Government of India which grants permission to enter a protected area within the country for a limited period of time. It is mandatory to obtain an ILP before entering Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
Further, Shah said that the ILP rule would be strengthened so that CAB does not have adverse effects on the state. Also, the proposed Bill would not in any way override the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, said Shah.
Ahead of Shah’s visit the state witnessed a massive agitation against his visit. The NGO Coordination Committee, a conglomerate of civil society organisations and student bodies had earlier planned to boycott the visit but called off the protest and decided to meet Shah and submit a memorandum expressing their disappointment with the bill.
Although on October 5th, 2019 the state didn’t witness any major protest against the minister, supporters of the Mizoram Popular Conference and Right of the People to Identity and the State Mizoram took out a protest along the route which led to the Raj Bhawan with banners against CAB.
The Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to the people belonging to the Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis who have become the victims of religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and entered India on or before December 31st, 2014. It may be mentioned that the Bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha on January 8th, 2019 but lapsed in the Rajya Sabha.
Photo credit: @AmitShah