Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 passed in Lok Sabha

File photo. Photograph:( PTI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 08, 2019, 05.25 PM (IST)

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 has been passed in the Parliament on Tuesday after a discussion regarding various clauses of the Bill.

The Bill seeks to enable Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh without valid travel documents or those whose valid documents expired in recent years to acquire Indian citizenship through the process of naturalisation. 

"We want that the minorities of other countries should remain in their countries peacefully, but unfortunately that is not happening, which is why this Bill is being proposed," said Rajnath Singh while debating on The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Speaking in the Lok Sabha on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Rajnath Singh appeals to the people of Assam and says their customs, tradition, linguistics and culture will be protected by the Centre. Singh said that the burden of the Citizenship Bill will not fall only on Assam, but the entire country.

Earlier, moving the bill for passage, Rajnath Singh said it will help the migrants who had "faced problematic conditions" including religious prosecution in the three countries get citizenship of the country.

He said religious minorities in Pakistan have been facing systematic discrimination and, though the present governments in Afghanistan and Bangladesh, were committed to the welfare of the minorities, they have faced problems in the past.

He said no other country except India could have provided interim protection from punitive legal action to minorities facing difficulties in the neighbouring countries.

(With inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act 1955 to grant Indian citizenship to people from minority communities Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12.