President Ram Nath Kovind, in a late Thursday night order, gave his assent to The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, letting it become an Act allowing Indian citizenship to six non-Muslim minority migrants facing religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
As per Gazette of India, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 of “Parliament received the assent of the President on December 12, 2019, and hereby published for general information”.
The Act comes into effect with its publication in the official gazette.
According to the Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
The Bill relaxes the requirement of residence in India from 11 years to six years for these migrants.
Amid raging protests, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed after a fierce debate in the Rajya Sabha with 125 votes in support while 99 against it.
The Bill was introduced and passed on Lok Sabha, a little past midnight on Tuesday with a 311-80 margin.
Opposition parties have termed the Bill as “anti-minority” and “unconstitutional”.
However, the Government has stated that Muslims in India need not worry, adding that the legislation will alleviate the suffering of many who faced persecution for years.
Meanwhile, the passing of the Citizenship Bill in the Parliament has plunged the northeast, especially the state of Assam, into deep chaos with locals and students hitting the streets in thousands, burning tyres and wooden logs prompting the administration to impose curfew in Guwahati and suspend mobile internet services in 10 districts of the state.
Protests have erupted in the northeast, especially in Assam and Tripura, as the indigenous people are worried that the entry of these people will endanger their identity and livelihood.
As the protests over CAB turned violent in Assam, PM Modi took to Twitter to assure the people of the state that they have nothing to worry adding that no one can take away their rights, identity and culture.
Modi further said that the Central Government and the PM himself are “totally committed to constitutionally safeguard the political, linguistic, cultural and land rights of the Assamese people as per the spirit of Clause 6.”