Will tweak Citizenship (Amendment) Act if needed, says Amit Shah

Will tweak Citizenship (Amendment) Act if needed, says Amit Shah

EC News Desk

DHANBAD/RANCHI, December 15, 2019: In his first public rally after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act cleared the Parliament hurdle, Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday indicated that ‘some changes’ could be made in the law’s provisions to address the concerns of the northeastern states.

“Conrad Sangma (Maeghalaya chief minister) and his ministers met me on Friday and informed me about the problems they are facing… I tried t maek them understand that there is no issue. When they insisted some changes need to be made to the law, I asked them to meet me after Christmas. I have assured them we will hold constructive discussions on the matter and come up with solutions to Meghalayas’s problems, “Shah said at a rally in Giridih.

The CAA applies to those who were “forced or compelled to seek shelter in India due to persecution on the ground of religion”. It aims to protect such people from proceedings of illegal migration. The cut-off date for citizenship is December 31, 2014, which means the applicant should have entered India on or before that date. Indian citizenship, under present law, is given either to those born in India or if they have resided in the country for a minimum of 11 years.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill became law after receiving the President's assent earlier this week following a debate in the Parliament. More than a dozen petitions challenging the legality of Act have already been filed in the apex court. The petitioners include Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, two NGOs, Uttar Pradesh's Peace Party, among others.

Protesters have clashed with the police in several areas of the northeast and violence in the states of northeast since Parliament approved the amended act earlier in the week, triggering a debate on whether the grant of citizenship could be linked to religion.

(With inputs from TIO)