Amid protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Northeast, President Ram Nath Kovind said on January 31 the contentious legislation will give justice to persecuted minorities of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan through Indian nationality.
Addressing the joint sitting of Parliament at the beginning of the Budget session, Kovind said the NDA government was mindful of the prevalence of injustice and deprivation in the society and has been working towards reforming the legal system so as to “ensure social and economic justice”.
“The Citizenship Amendment Bill will help in the securing of Indian citizenship by those victims who were persecuted and were compelled to seek refuge in India. These people cannot be blamed since they were victims of circumstances,” he said.
The bill provides for according Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years of residence in India instead of 12 years, which is the norm currently, even if they do not possess any document.