New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019. The bill will now be tabled in Parliament next week, just steps away from becoming a law.
The Bill seeks to grant citizenship to all non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution in these neighbouring countries.
The Bill has been cleared amid stiff opposition from different sections of society across the Northeast. Meanwhile, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has decided to intensify its strike against the Bill in the days to come.
Speaking with EastMojo over telephone from New Delhi , AASU general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi said, “We along with our other groups are discussing our next course of action. We will continue with our protests. Today, we are holding a mass protest in New Delhi. A three-day state-wide protest will be organised across Assam starting December 6.”
The Assam Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), one of the leading students’ organisations in Assam, has also decided to strengthen its strike against the Bill.
The Cabinet clearance has come a day after Union home minister Amit Shah concluded the final round of talks with various stakeholders, including student organisation from the Northeastern states.
The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO), an umbrella organisation of student bodies of Northeast, has been holding a series of protests against the Bill. In a memorandum submitted earlier to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, NESO expressed unhappiness with the Centre’s decision to reintroduce the Bill.
NESO chairman Samuel Jyrwa said that the indigenous people of Northeast are opposed to the Bill and it would be unfair on the part of the Centre to re-introduce the Bill in Parliament next week as the entire Northeast is already infested with foreigners from erstwhile East Pakistan. Constant infiltration has threatened identity of the region’s indigenous peoples.
“Bringing in the Bill would mean the Centre is trying to impose the burden of post-1971 Hindu Bangladeshis on the northeast, which is not justified,” Jyrwa added.