POLITICS
11/12/2019 8:21 PM IST

Citizenship Amendment Bill: Rajya Sabha Votes Against Sending Bill To Select Committee

Violent protests have been raging in parts of Assam and Tripura against the bill.

PRAKASH SINGH via Getty Images
Amit Shah as he arrives at the Parliament House in New Delhi on December 11.

Rajya Sabha on Wednesday rejected the motion to send the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to a Select Committee of the House. 

Several Opposition MPs had moved motions to send the bill to a Select Committee for detailed consideration before it is passed.

The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha around midnight on Monday. 

Shah had moved the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and said that Indian Muslims have nothing to worry about. 

“Muslims in the country are and will remain the citizens of the country. They need not fear anything. But should we make Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Indian citizens? That’s not how the country is run,” he added.

The home minister said minorities in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh are not treated equally and their population has declined by 20 percent as “they were either killed, or forced to convert or migrated to India”.

“They took refuge (in India) but were barred from availing basic facilities like homes, jobs, healthcare and education,” he said.

While replying to the debate in the Upper House, he said Muslims have not been included in the bill for giving citizenship because the proposed law is for persecuted minorities in the three neighbouring countries. 

Protests in Northeast

Violent protests have been raging in parts of Assam and Tripura against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Curfew, which was imposed on Wednesday in Guwahati around 6.15 pm, has been extended till indefinite period, PTI quoted Assam Police Additional Director General (Law and Order) Mukesh Agrawal as saying.

The Indian Army, according to NDTV, sent two columns to Kanchanpur and Manu in Tripura and two others are on standby in Assam’s Dibrugarh and Bongaigaon.

Internet services remained suspended for the second day in some districts of Tripura and will remain suspended till Thursday, officials told PTI. Internet services were also suspended in 10 districts of Assam for 24 hours, starting 7 pm on Wednesday. 

Protesters, according to the NDTV report, have expressed concerns that refugees allowed by the bill could endanger identity and livelihood of indigenous people. 

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(With PTI inputs)