Home Minister Amit Shah tabled the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Rajya Sabha on Monday even as fresh protests erupted in Assam and other states of the North East against the draft law.
The Bill seeks to grant citizenship to illegal non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh if they faced religious persecution there. It is presently being debated in the Rajya Sabha before MPs vote on the Bill.
On Wednesday, the Northeast Frontier Railway cancelled many trains and rescheduled a few that originate from the state. At least 14 trains have either been cancelled, short terminated or diverted anticipating "disruptions in train movement," NF Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Subhanan Chanda said in a statement.
Here are all the Live Updates:
8:45 PM: Rajya Sabha Passes Citizenship Amendment Bill.
8:34 PM: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut says his party will boycott voting on Citizenship Amendment Bill, reports ANI.
8:18 PM: Shiv Sena MPs remained absent in Rajya Sabha when voting for the amendments to the CAB was underway.
8:13 PM: Rajya Sabha votes against sending the Citizenship Amendment Bill to a select panel.
7:45 PM: Congress MP Digvijaya Singh tells Shah: "From NRC to CAB, there is fear among Muslims in India."
7:42 PM: Home Minister Amit Shah again says that the CAB will not affect the citizenship of Indian Muslims.
7:33 PM: Curfew in Guwahati has been extended till indefinite period amid violent protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, officials said.
7:27 PM: Sometimes the comments of Congress leaders sound similar to those of Pakistan, says Amit Shah.
7:26 PM: Eight-nine lakh Tamils from Sri Lanka were given Indian citizenship in past, says Home Minister.
7:22 PM: This bill is to give citizenship, not to take away citizenship; Citizenship of Indian Muslims not being taken away, says Amit Shah.
7:18 PM: Amit Shah hits out at Shiv Sena for taking a U-turn after supporting the Bill in Lok Sabha.
7:15 PM: "It was asked that why were Rohingyas not included in the Bill? Rohingyas don't come to India directly, they go to Bangladesh and then infiltrate into India from there," Shah said.
7:13 PM: "8-9 lakh Tamils from Sri Lanka were given Indian citizenship in past" says the Home Minister.
7:00 PM: Amit Shah says, "13,000 Hindus, Sikhs migrants from Pakistan have been given relief and citizenship during Congress rule."
"The Citizenship Bill will not snatch anyone's Indian citizenship. Muslims have no need to fear or worry," he added.
6:45 PM: The Home Minister defended the CAB saying, "Equality guaranteed in Article 14 does not prohibit law based on reasonable classification."
6:35 PM: "If this bill was brought 50 years ago, then the situation had not been so severe today," Home Minister Amit Shah says in the debate on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
6:27 PM: Curfew has been imposed in Assam's capital Guwahati till 7 am on Thursday, Assam's DGP said.
6:23 PM: All bills of our government are brought in the House only after they are vetted by the Law and Legislative Department, says Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, adding that the Bill was "constitutional, valid and in the national interest".
6:10 PM: As many as 12 trains have been cancelled and 10 trains partially cancelled on December 12 and 13 due to indefinite 'Rail Roko' protests by various organisations and associations in Tinsukia and Lumding division in Assam.
5:47 PM: District Magistrate Dibrugarh has ordered liquor licensed premises to down shutters from 4 pm today for "preservation of public peace and tranquillity".
Protests are going on in Guwahati where demonstrators have burned tyres on the road. Protesters also clashed with police near the state Secretariat where the cops threw teargas shells at them. All major roads are under siege by protesters.
5:44 PM: BJP MP Bhupendra Yadav says that the government has kept in mind the sentiments of the people in Assam while drafting the Bill.
5:33 PM: Amid intensifying protests in Assam, the state government has decided to shut down mobile internet and data services in 10 districts for the next 24 hours starting 7 pm today.
5:25 PM: The Indian Army said it has deployed two columns in Tripura and put one on standby in Assam amid anti-CAB protests in the North East.
5:20 PM: AAP MP Sanjay Singh said Rajya Sabha, "I am opposing this Bill as it is against the Constitution made by Baba Saheb Ambedkar."
5:10 PM: D Kupendra Reddy, JD(S), says: "This Bill will be a dilution of our secularism policy in this country. I strongly oppose this Bill. I recommend that the Bill be sent to a select committee of Parliament for scrutiny."
5:02 PM: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was stranded at Guwahati airport for more than an hour due to protests.
4:15 PM: "In 2019, 40 Afghani and 712 Pakistani migrants have been granted Indian citizenship till 6 December. As per available data, 927 Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan and Pakistan have been granted Indian citizenship since 2018," says MoS Home Ministry, Nityanand Rai.
4:00 PM: Congress MP Kapil Sibal referred to Shah's statement that the Bill would not have been needed if "Congress hadn't allowed partition on basis of religion" and said, "I don't understand which history books the Home Minister has read. Two-nation theory is not our theory. It was perpetrated by Savarkar."
3:48 PM: 5,000 paramilitary personnel are being sent to Northeast to ensure peace in wake of protests over citizenship bill, Officials said.
3:25 PM: "NRC and CAB are not different. The Bill was brought in to fill in the shortcoming of NRC," said RJD MP Manoj Kumar Jha.
Jha said, "You (NDA) have majority today, you will anyway pass the bill. But history will judge. Remember governments of 10-15 years have been reduced to footnotes."
3:20 PM: Satish Chandra Mishra of BSP said, "Our party opposes the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019. Why are you violating Article 14 by excluding Muslims?"
3:15 PM: Sena MP Raut said, "If you are accepting persecuted refugees, politics should not be done over that. So should they get voting rights?"
3:12 PM: "The school you studied in, we are the headmaster of that school," said Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut adding that they were not 'anti-national'.
He took a dig at PM Modi for the comment that opposition was speaking in "the language of Pakistan". Raut said, "This is not the Parliament of Pakistan."
He said the bill was to be evaluated on basis of "humanity" and not "religion", asserting that Hindus faced persecution in Pakistan.
3:04 PM: AIADMK MP Vijila Sathyananth raised concerns over the status of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in Tamil Nadu, who are not covered under CAB.
"They are considered stateless Indian-origin Tamils from Sri Lanka," she said adding, they are considered illegal immigrants but they were not and 90% of them were Hindus. But the party supported the Bill.
2:56 PM: "Arbitrariness is written on the face of this Bill," former Finance Minister Chidambaram adding, "We are wrecking the Constitution with this insidious Bill."
He hoped that the judiciary will strike down the Bill and save the "idea of India".
2:54 PM: Chidambaram raised several questions over the Bill.
"Why have you included only six religions like Hindu, Sikhs, Buddhists and left out the Ahmadiyyas and Hazaras?" he asked. The Congress leader also asked why the Sri Lankan Hindus and Bhutanese Christians were left out.
2:51 PM: India has two types of citizenship--by birth and by naturalisation, said Congress MP P Chidambaram, adding "Now we have citizenship by arbitrary executive feat."
2:48 PM: Asom Gana Parishad opposed the Bill in the Rajya Sabha saying the state did not have Inner Line Permit regime. "Save Assam," the AGP MP said.
2:35 PM: Rajya Sabha MP TK Rangarajan of CPI(M) says, "Suppose you make the law, who will be responsible for any repercussion on minorities? That is why my party opposes this."
2:30 PM: The AIADMK said it had certain concerns regarding the Bill but it will lend its support.
2:20 PM: The Telangana Rashtra Samithi opposed the bill saying it "negates every ideal of justice".
2:15 PM: "We support this bill. The bill is very clear, it gives citizenship to persecuted minorities from three of our neighbouring countries, but here a debate is being done on our Indian Muslim brothers," JDU lawmaker RCP Singh says backing the Bill.
2:00 PM: "Our government, through the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the NRC, is trying to fulfil the dream of Jinnah. Remember, in 1949, Sardar Patel had said 'we are laying the foundation of a truly secular democracy in India'," said Javed Ali Khan of the Samajwadi Party in Rajya Sabha.
1:45 PM: Harivansh, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha announced the Business Advisory Committee has decided to allocate six hours to discussion on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. There are total 48 speakers participating in the discussion.
1:37 PM: Referring to PM Modi's comment that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) will be written in "golden letters in history", TMC MP Derek O'Brian said, "This legislation will be written in golden letters on the grave of the father of the nation. But which father of the nation? In Karachi, on Jinnah's grave," he said.
"Majority is on one side and morality on this side," he said urging the JDU and BJD to not support the CAB.
1:31 PM: "You said there is no reason to worry. I will tell you why there are huge reasons to worry," TMC MP Derek O'Brian said referring to the times the Centre implemented demonetisation, promised five trillion dollar economy etc.
"How you have treated the Bengali hindus. 60% of the people in detention camps in Assam are Bengali Hindus. Most left out of the NRC are Bengali Hindus," he asked.
1:25 PM: "In 2003, Dr. Manmohan Singh, in Rajya Sabha, said to the then Deputy PM Advani ji on the treatment of refugees and persecution of minorities in countries like Bangladesh. He said we should have a more liberal approach in granting citizenship to them. So, we are following what he said," said BJP leader J P Nadda.
1:13 PM: Ministry of Home Affairs extends Inner Line Permit (ILP) to Manipur and other parts of the North East, reports ANI.
1:10 PM: "In our religion, we believe in rebirth, and that we meet our elders. So if Sardar Patel meets Modi ji then he will be very angry with him, Gandhi ji will, of course, be sad, but Patel will be indeed very angry," said Congress MP Anand Sharma.
1:07 PM: Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill continued to rock Assam as a large group of students clashed with the police near the state Secretariat. They were lathi-charged by the police. Teargas shells were also lobbed at the students who threw the shells back at the policemen.
1:00 PM: Congress MP Anand Sharma said in Rajya Sabha, "The bill that you have brought is an assault on the very foundation of the Indian constitution, it is an assault on the Republic of India. It hurts the soul of India. It is against our constitution and democracy. It fails the morality test."
He also added that the Citizenship Amendment Bill violated the Preamble of the Constitution and the principle of secularism, and "failed the constitutionality test".
12:55 PM: "Protests going on in northeast, there are concerns, but those have been addressed by govt," says Kiren Rijiju, MoS Ministry of Minority Affairs.
12:23 PM: Muslims of India were, are and will remain, Indian citizens, says Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha.
12:19 PM: Meanwhile, police on Wednesday detained some women agitators protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Agartala, news agency ANI.
12:15 PM: "There has been an almost 20% decline each in the population of religious minorities in both Pakistan and present-day Bangladesh. Either they were killed or they fled to India for shelter," Amit Shah said defending the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
12:13 PM: Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday tabled the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the Rajya Sabha even as the protests against the proposed law continue to increase across the country.