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Meghalaya BJP legislators oppose Citizenship Bill

  • Published at 10:49 pm January 13th, 2019
web-meghalay-google map
Meghalaya of India on Google map

Notably, Meghalaya shares a 443 km-international border with Bangladesh

Two BJP legislators from the Northeast Indian state of Meghalaya have sent a memorandum to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to vent opposition against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

The memorandum was sent by legislators Sanbor Shullai and A L Hek during BJP’s National Convention held at Delhi on January 11-12.

The memorandum stated the bill would further exacerbate the existing problem of influx of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh which is ailing Meghalaya since India’s independence in 1947.

It also stated the bill has provoked widespread negative sentiments among the people of India’s Northeast and undermined the ongoing National Register of Citizens (NRC) update which like the Assam Accord uses the midnight of March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date to determine the list of Assam’s citizens.

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The Assam Accord was signed on August 15, 1985 as a result of the six-year long anti-foreigners agitation in Assam which sought to expel illegal immigrants from the state. The movement was led by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).

On the other hand, the memorandum stated the bill would enfeeble the strength of the indigenous population of Meghalaya.

Notably, Meghalaya shares a 443 km-international border with Bangladesh.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was introduced by the Narendra Modi-led BJP government in the Indian Parliament on July 2016 and seeks to grant citizenship to refugees trying to escape persecution from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan belonging to the Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh and Parsi community.

The bill has been passed in the Lok Sabha which is the lower house of the Indian Parliament on January 8. It is yet to be passed in the Rajya Sabha which is the Upper House of the Indian Parliament.