CAB clause to protect NE from ‘infiltrators’: Shah
GUWAHATI, 6th Oct: Home minister Amit Shah — in separate meetings with Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga, NGOs and civil society organisations in Aizawl on Saturday — assured that a special clause will be incorporated in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill so that their state, along with Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, is not affected by settlement of people from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who are granted Indian citizenship.
The three states are governed by the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system that regulates the entry of people from other states.
“The home minister has decided that a kind of special clause will be incorporated in the proposed bill that will have special provision for Mizoram. The home ministry wants us to propose the special clause before the bill is introduced in Parliament,” said Zoramthanga after his meeting with Shah. The special clause will incorporate the ILP, he added.
Vanlalruata, chairman of Mizo NGO Coordination Committee, added: “We have been assured that the ILP will be there and will continue to safeguard us against foreign infiltrators. It will be applicable to other NE states as well where the ILP is in force.” He added that Shah has agreed to discuss the draft legislation before taking it to Parliament.
“Shah said the ILP regime would be strengthened so that the Citizenship Amendment Bill does not have adverse effects in the state,” said a statement issued by the committee.
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 time period. It is obligatory for Indians to obtain permission to enter the protected areas residing outside Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
The committee called off its planned protest on Saturday against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill during Shah’s visit after the latter agreed to meet them and hear their grievances. The committee submitted a memorandum opposing the CAB to the home minister.
Though there was no protest on Saturday, supporters of Mizoram People’s Conference and People’s Right to Identity and Status of Mizoram lined up along Shah’s route leading to the Raj Bhawan holding colourful placards against the CAB.
The proposed bill, which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who took shelter in India till December 31, 2014 after fleeing religious persecution, was passed in the Lok Sabha during the Modi government’s earlier tenure. The bill, however, lapsed.