AIZAWL, Aug 18 - Mizoram�s regional party Zoram Nationalist Party president and former Lok Sabha member Lalduhoma on Wednesday wrote to the Chairman of Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016, expressing the Mizo people�s apprehension on the proposed Bill.
In his letter to Satyapal Singh, MP and Chairman of the JCP, Lalduhoma, said that he has come to learn that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, has been referred to the JPC and that it has given a limited time for receiving suggestions from various civil societies, bodies, associations and individuals.
�A proposal of this present status, which is sure to affect the religious sentiments as well as demographic balance of the people living in a place like Mizoram and other Northeastern States should have been given adequate publicity with sufficient time to respond so that the people concerned may be well informed, involved and heard,� he said.
Lalduhoma said that the proposed Amendment Bill seeks to grant citizenship to persons belonging to minority communities namely Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who have either entered into India without valid travel documents or the validity of their documents have expired, after six years of residence in India.
�The logic that prompted the introduction of the Bill, as can be inferred from the statement of objects and reasons appears to be humanitarian with a view to provide shelter for those minorities under discrimination or persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
However, the minorities such as Hindus and Rohingiya Muslims in Myanmar, Uyghur Muslims in China, Ahmediya Muslims in Pakistan and Bangladesh are not included in the Bill. Humanitarianism cannot be equated as a cause which in turn poses a potential assimilation of native inhabitants of Mizoram and other NE States,� he stated.
�While India refused to be a signatory to the United Nation�s Refugee Convention, the Bill appears to be communally motivated and biased, threatening the very existence of certain sections of minorities,� Lalduhoma said.
The proposed Bill infringes the secular character of our country and violates the right to equality and protection against discrimination on grounds of religion as enshrined in the Nation�s Constitution, Lalduhoma said.