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Mizoram churches to offer special prayer to oppose Citizenship (Amendment) Bill
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Mizoram churches to offer special prayer to oppose Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

Agency News

New Delhi/Aizawl, Feb 9 : The emotive 'sons and daughters of the soil' vis-a-vis threats from outsiders issue has come to the fore yet again in Mizoram as social organisations and political class have decided to intensify their opposition to the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

"We are emotional people and also committed to the interests of the natives. Therefore, Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee (MKHC) - a common conglomeration of church bodies - would offer a mass prayer on Saturday and Sunday (Feb 10) to ensure that the Bill is defeated in the Rajya Sabha," a senior church leader told UNI over phone.

Initially the proposal was to hold the prayer meeting on February 16 - but now the special prayer session will be held on Saturday and Sunday as the Narendra Modi government has decided to push the draft law in the Upper House of Parliament on February 12 and 13.

There has been a strong opposition in all northeastern states against the Bill, which got the nod in the Lok Sabha on January 8. The opponents to the same - especially in Assam say that if the Bill is made into a law and implemented, it will endanger the identity of indigenous people of the region.

The draft law - now pending in the Rajya Sabha - envisages granting citizenship to 'persecuted' non-Muslims - Hindus, Christians, Jains, Parsis and others - who have entered India till December 31, 2014 from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of continuous stay in the country.

The stakeholders including BJP legislators in states like Meghalaya and Manipur have condemned the Modi government for its alleged 'undemocratic push' to pass the Bill in Lok Sabha on January 8 much against the strong opposition of the whole northeast.

The Bill may be taken up in the Rajya Sabha for consideration and passing on February 12 and 13 and the BJP is reaching out to regional outfits like BSP and Samajwadi Party to enlist their support to the draft law.

The major developments on the legislative front come after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a rally in Vijaypur in Jammu region - "There are so many children of Maa Bharti who have faced persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. We will stand with those who were part of India at one time, but got separated from us" - in reference to Partition in 1947 and their persecution in Pakistan and other neighbouring countries.

In his January 31 address to the Joint Sitting of Parliament, President Ram Nath Kovind said categorically that those people who were 'compelled' to seek refuge in India cannot be blamed and clubbed with infiltrators since they were victims of circumstances.

“These people cannot be blamed since they were victims of circumstances,” said the Presidential address giving a clear indication of the NDA government was not at all willing to shelve The Citizenship Amendment Bill.(UNI)