Indian lower house of the parliament has passed controversial Citizen Bill amid protests and strikes in Northeast India. The new bill will barred Muslims from citizenship rights. The bill covers select groups including Hindus, Christians and Sikhs, who moved from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and were living in India for at least six years. Muslims have been excluded from this process of granting citizenship rights.
The legislation, which still needs approval in the upper house, sparked a second day of protests in the Northeastern states including Assam, where millions have settled in recent decades after fleeing neighbouring countries.
Muslim groups and human rights organisations are accusing the Modi government for targeting Muslim communities in this new bill.
The hilly state of 33 million people known for its tea plantations has been plagued for decades by tensions between tribal and ethnic indigenous groups and settlers from outside the region. Last year the Assam government published a draft citizens’ register that left off four million people unable to prove they were living there before 1971, when millions fled Bangladesh’s war of independence.
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17 November, 2019