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Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB): A Critical Analysis

Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

  1. The CAB seeks to grant Indian Citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis and Christians who fled Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan due to religious persecution.
  2. A Person who migrated before Dec 31, 2014 and has spent at least six years in India will be a beneficiary. Therefore, people who migrated till Dec 31, 2008 will be eligible for Citizenship.
  3. The immigrants shall have to register with government authority for citizenship and give a proof of having faced religious persecution.
  4. States protected by Inner Line Permit and tribal areas by Sixth Schedule of the Constitution have been exempted from the Bill’s ambit

Inner Line Permit

  1. The ILP is a travel document which is an offshoot of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations 1873.
  2. It is enforced in three protected states – Mizoram, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh

Sixth Schedule of the Constitution

  1. The Sixth schedule of Constitution deals with the administration of the tribal areas as per Article-244 of the Indian Constitution.
  2. The Governor can create a new autonomous district, increase or diminish the area of any autonomous district, unite two or more autonomous districts etc.. It is enforced in some tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

The Confusion

  1. Outsider can neither buy land nor do business in the states protected by ILP. Even if the states protected by ILP were not exempted from the bill’s purview, they were not going to get effected in any case.
  2. There is confusion on the exemption of Sixth schedule areas and on the fate of immigrants, who migrated after March 24, 1971, settled down in any of the areas and have immovable property.

Protest in Assam

  1. Protesters say the Bill violates clause-5 of the Assam Accord which says the immigrants, who migrated after March 24, 1971, are to be detected and deported.
  2. The protesters fear the land, language, culture and identity of Assam’s indigenous communities will be at stake if the Bill is passed.

Source: The New Indian Express

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