The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill,2016 will visit Shillong on May 10 and 11 to obtain feedback from migrants, if any, belonging to religious minority communities of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh that is Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians residing in the State of Meghalaya.
The Committee will also meet other stakeholders in connection with the examination of ‘The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016’.
An official communiqué on Thursday said that the Joint Parliamentary Committee will be holding discussions with migrants/NGOs/public representatives and other stakeholders on the May 10 from 2 pm onwards at the State Convention Centre, Shillong to hear their views/suggestions on matters relating to various provisions of ‘The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016’.
The communiqué said that interested persons/organisations desirous of meeting the Joint Committee may submit their written representations to be presented before the Joint Committee through the Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hills District latest by 5 pm of May 7.
Persons who wish to attend the discussions with the Joint Committee should provide their full details like name, address and contact number.
Like in Assam, there is also a fear in Meghalaya that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 if approved and implemented, would grant citizenship to immigrants from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
In Assam, various groups including the All Assam Students’ Union and political parties like the Asom Gana Parishah are opposing the amendment Bill.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill aims at granting Indian citizenship to minority communities – Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan who had entered India illegally to escape religious persecution, even if they do not provide the required documents.
The objective of the Bill is to amend section 2 (b) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, which states that “illegal migrant” means a foreigner who has entered India without a valid passport or other travel documents or with a valid passport or travel document, but remains therein beyond the permitted period of time.