Mehbooba Mufti on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill: In the wake of the ongoing controversy over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, People’s Democratic Party chief and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti said India is almost becoming like Pakistan as it is matching some of its neighbour’s policies in its treatment of the minority community. Her comments came after the contentious Bill was passed in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and now is waiting for President Ram Nath Kovind’s nod.
The Bill aims to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who came to India before December 31, 2014. The 6 religious groups that would be granted citizenship include Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who had to flee religious persecution in the three countries. It also reduces the minimum years of residency to apply for citizenship from 11 years to 6 years. However, this facility has not been extended to Muslim refugees.
Meanwhile, BJP-ruled Assam has witnessed massive protest over the controversial Bill, media reports said the indigenous people of the state have claimed that excessive influx of illegal Bangladeshi migrants will affect the locals’ identity in the state and it is also against the 1985 Assam Accord.
Reports said the state witnessed another shutdown on Friday on a call by tribal organisations against the Union government’s approval to grant Scheduled Tribe status to six communities – Marans, Muttocks, Chutiyas, Koch-Rajbongshis and Tea Communities – under the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Amendment Bill, 2019.