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Citizenship Bill not be applicable in Nagaland: Rio writes to Rajnath

KOHIMA1: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has dashed off a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and stated that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is not be applicable to the state as it is protected under Article 371 (A) of the Constitution.

Rio chaired a cabinet meeting on the Bill on last Friday. Rio stated that Nagaland is protected under provisions of Article 371 (A) and the Inner Line Permit (ILP) as per Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation  of 1873.

Passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8, the Bill is yet to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha. The opposition parties, students’ bodies and the civil society in the state are protesting against the Bill, claiming it will change the region’s demography and violates the historic 1985 Assam Accord.

The Citizenship Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016 to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955. The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship.

The letter further mentioned that the Bill, even if enacted, will not be applicable to Nagaland in view of the Article 371 (A) that guarantees the Nagas their way of life un-interfered by any Parliamentary enactment, unless the Legislative Assembly by a resolution so decides, as quoted by Economic Times.

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