Assam Chief Minister has said that the
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 does not need any change if Clause 6 of the
Assam Accord is implemented properly.
Assam Accord is a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS)
signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of
the Assam Movement – a movement against illegal immigrants in Assam. It was
signed in 1985.
Clause 6 of the Assam Accord envisages that
appropriate constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards should be
provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic
identity and heritage of the people of Assam.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill amends the
Citizenship Act, 1955. It seeks to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs,
Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and
Pakistan, eligible for Indian citizenship.
The Bill also seeks to reduce the requirement of
11 years of continuous stay in the country to six years to obtain citizenship
The bill has been highly criticised and opposed
by, different political parties and by common people across north-east India on
the grounds that it undermines the rights of indigenous people of North-East
India and would aggravate the migrant issue by allowing Hindu Bangladeshis.