‘No changes in citizenship Bill needed if Clause 6 implemented properly’

  1. Assam Chief Minister has said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 does not need any change if Clause 6 of the Assam Accord is implemented properly.
  2. Assam Accord is a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement – a movement against illegal immigrants in Assam. It was signed in 1985.
  3. Clause 6 of the Assam Accord envisages that appropriate constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards should be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the people of Assam.
  4. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955. It seeks to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for Indian citizenship.
  5. The Bill also seeks to reduce the requirement of 11 years of continuous stay in the country to six years to obtain citizenship by naturalisation.
  6. The bill has been highly criticised and opposed by, different political parties and by common people across north-east India on the grounds that it undermines the rights of indigenous people of North-East India and would aggravate the migrant issue by allowing Hindu Bangladeshis.