The petition has termed the government’s move as “communally motivated humanitarianism”, and an attempt to differentiate “illegal immigrants” on the basis of their religion and grant them naturalisation.
The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act 1955 by enabling non-Muslim minority communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan to seek citizenship in India if they entered the country before December 31, 2014.
The top court said this may not be the right stage to examine the petition as the bill hasn't been passed in both houses of Parliament yet. The court allowed the petitioner to raise the issue at an “appropriate time”.
Sporadic demonstrations continued in parts of Assam and a shutdown was observed in Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) on Saturday. Black flags were raised by student bodies across the region, including at the headquarters of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) in Guwahati.
The union cabinet, early this month, cleared a proposal to set up a high-level committee to look into the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord of 1985. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had then said clause 6 “wasn’t fully implemented”.
At least three more regional parties, in Tripura, Nagaland and Mizoram, all in the BJP’s 11-party North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), have called some provisions in the Bill a threat to indigenous communities.
The AGP walked out Monday following the BJP’s decision to go ahead with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which proposes to make minority (non-Muslim) immigrants from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship.