President Approves Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019

Ram Nath Kovind, President of India

President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which means that it is an act now.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act comes into effect with its publication in the official gazette on December 12, 2019.

The Act makes illegal immigrants from the following religious communities – Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014 eligible for Indian citizenship.

The amendment is not applicable to the tribal areas of the states of Mizoram, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and areas covered under the Inner Line Permit. The Inner Line Permit is currently applicable in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.

Government has argued that there exists a need to differentiate between intruders and refugees, those communities who have come to India so as to escape religious persecution should be given refuge in India as per our traditions.

India has traditionally given several persecuted minority religions such as Zoroastrians, Jewish communities, Tibetans, Coptic Christians when escaping persecution.

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