Citizenship Amendment Bill could 'open floodgates for illegal immigrants': Mizoram CM to Amit Shah

An umbrella organisation of major civil society and student associations met Shah and submitted a memorandum demanding that the Bill should not be legislated.

Published: 05th October 2019 08:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th October 2019 08:09 PM   |  A+A-

Citizens in Mizoram protest against the Citizenship Bill, 2019 amid Shah's visit

Citizens in Mizoram protest against the Citizenship Bill, 2019 amid Shah's visit (Photo | Express)

By PTI

AIZAWL: Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Saturday told visiting Union Home Minister Amit Shah that the people of the state are against the proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955, an official statement said.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 could open a "floodgate of illegal immigrants" in Mizoram, an official statement said. Zoramthanga met Shah, who is also the BJP national president, at the Raj Bhavan here and the two leaders discussed several other issues. This was Shah's first visit to Mizoram after assuming office.

An umbrella organisation of major civil society bodies and student associations of Mizoram also met Shah at the Raj Bhavan and submitted a memorandum demanding that the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 should not be legislated in Parliament.

If the Bill is passed in Parliament then Mizoram and other north eastern states who are opposed to the contentious bill should be exempted from its ambit, the memorandum by the Mizoram NGO Coordination Committee said.

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The committee had earlier decided to organise a protest rally in protest against the proposed CAB but changed its decision and met Shah to discuss its demands.

Shah had said on October 1 that the Citizenship Amendment Bill would be passed in Parliament which will grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after seven years of stay in the country even if they do not possess proper documents.

The Bill had been passed in Lok Sabha on January 8 but lapsed as it could not be placed in Rajya Sabha. There have been protests against the proposed Bill in several north eastern states.

Shah, who is also the BJP national president, was on a day-long visit to Mizoram. This is his first visit to the north eastern state since asssuming office. A press release issued by the NGO body said that Shah assured it that the inner line permit (ILP) system in force in Mizoram would be incorporated in the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill.

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The ILP is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to grant permission for inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period. It is obligatory for Indians residing outside the states concerned to obtain permission prior to entering the protected areas.

Currently, the Inner Line Permit is issued under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 and is operational in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. The conditions and restrictions vary from state to state. "Shah said that ILP regime would be strengthened so that it is the Citizenship Amendment Bill, even after being legislated into an act do not have adverse effects in the state," the statement said.

The union minister also said that he would take steps to raise a battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force comprising Mizo boys to man the border security along the international border with Myanmar and Bangladesh.

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