Cabinet clears Citizenship Amendment Bill, to be tabled in Parliament next week
New Delhi, Dec 04: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which will now be tabled in the Parliament next week.
The Cabinet's go-ahead comes a day after Union home minister Amit Shah concluded the final round of talks with various stakeholders in the north-eastern states.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to provide citizenship to those who had been forced to seek shelter in India because of religious persecution or fear of persecution in their home countries, primarily Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The Citizenship Act of 1955 labels a person an "illegal immigrant" if he or she has entered India without travel documents or has overstayed the date specified in the documents.
The need for an NRC is extremely important considering the fact that there are 2 crore, illegal immigrants, staying in India.
In 2004, the then minister of state for home, Sriprakash Jaiswal had said that there were around 12 million such people living in 17 states and union territories as on December 31, 2001.
He had said that Assam accounted for 50 lakh and West Bengal 57 lakh Bangladeshi immigrants living illegally.