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Cabinet clears Citizenship Amendment Bill, to be introduced in LS today

Cabinet clears Citizenship Amendment Bill, to be introduced in LS today
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New Delhi: The Union Cabinet Monday cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, officials said.

A meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cleared the bill and it is expected to be tabled in Lok Sabha Tuesday, an official privy to the development said.

The move came within hours of the presentation in Lok Sabha of a report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee examining the bill that was first introduced in Parliament in 2016.

Large sections of people in Assam and other northeastern states have been protesting against the bill, saying it would nullify the 1985 Assam Accord under which any foreign national, irrespective of religion, who had entered the state after 1971 should be deported.

The new bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act 1955 to grant Indian nationality to people from minority communities - Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians - from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12 even if they don't possess any proper documentation.

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) pulled out of the BJP-led coalition government in Assam over the Citizenship Amendment Bill after its "last-ditch attempt to convince" the Centre to withdrew the proposed legislation failed on Monday.

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