Amit Shah will now be in Jharkhand for the next two days (Photo Credit: PTI File)
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has cancelled his visit to two Northeastern states -- Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh -- on Sunday and Monday next, officials said. The cancellation comes amidst widespread protests in Assam and Meghalaya against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. The home minister's visit to the Northeast has been cancelled, a home ministry official said, without citing any reason. Shah will now be in Jharkhand for the next two days.
Northeastern states have been engulfed in violent protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. Two people were killed in police firing in Assam on Thursday, where thousands of protesters defied curfew. The army has been patrolling districts across Assam. Mobile internet services have been suspended across Meghalaya for the next 48 hours. Many in the northeastern states fear the law will lead to legitimizing of immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh and change the demographics of the region.
According to the Citizenship Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship. The act says the refugees of the six communities will be given Indian citizenship after residing in India for five years, instead of 11 years earlier. The act also proposes to give immunity to such refugees facing legal cases after being found as illegal migrants.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill got the assent from President Ram Nath Kovind after it was passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and by Lok Sabha on Monday.