NEW DELHI, Dec 21 - In a significant disclosure, the Centre today revealed that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has proposed amendment in the definition of �illegal migrants� under section 2(1), reducing the residency period from 11 years to six years.
The proposal has been inserted under the Third Schedule of Section 6 giving enabling powers to the government to cancel the OCI card of such persons who are found to have committed offences under section 7D of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and it has been referred to the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said in a Rajya Sabha reply.
The JPC has held meetings with stakeholders and visited states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. The Bill intends to enable minority communities of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, including Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who entered India on or before December 31, 2014 due to religious persecution or fear of religious persecution, to obtain Indian citizenship. The JPC is yet to submit its report, Rijiju said.
The Bill that has generated much controversy in Assam has been opposed by major organisations in the State and the proposal to change the definition of illegal migrants and reduce the period of residency from 11 years to six years, is likely to further generate heat, landing the Sonowal government in a tight spot.