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Bhupen Hazarika's family turns down Bharat Ratna over Citizenship Amendment Bill: Reports

File photo of Bhupen Hazarika. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 11, 2019, 11.34 PM (IST)

Bhupen Hazarika's son has reportedly turned down the Bharat Ratna given to the renowned Assamese singer over the Citizenship Amendment Bill.  

News reports Monday quoted Tej Hazarika, Bhupen Hazarika's son, as telling an Assamese television news channel that he would not be accepting the Bharat Ratna. 

The news reports quoted Tej as saying he was not accepting the award because of the current situation in the state, an allusion to the current unrest in the region over the Citizenship Amendment Bill. 

Hazarika died in 2011. The Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, was given to him this year on Republic Day. 

"It is his (Tej's) decision, not mine," ANI quoted Bhupen Hazarika's brother Samar as saying. "Anyway, I think he (Bhupen) should get it. It is already too late."

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The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has caused a massive uproar in the Northeast. 

The bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslims who fled religious persecution from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014.

The Northeast fears the bill will lead to a further influx of Bangladeshi migrants, which is why the opposition to the bill. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in the recently concluded winter session of Parliament, leading to raging protests in the northeastern states.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is currently pending in the Rajya Sabha. 

Story highlights

News reports quoted Hazarika's son Tej as saying he was not accepting the award because of the current situation in the state, an allusion to the current unrest in the region over the Citizenship Amendment Bill.