Ludhiana, Dec 11 (ANI): Sikh families, who escaped to India from Afghanistan due to religious persecution, have expressed happiness over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill getting the nod in Lok Sabha and hope that it will go through Rajya Sabha as well, as this will help get Indian citizenship.
The Sikh families narrated their ordeal during their stay in Afghanistan, a war-ravaged country, and lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for the Bill and understanding their grievances.
“I came from Afghanistan in 2012. I used to stay in Shor Bazaar in Kabul. We were not allowed to carry out the last rites of our family members as per our religion. We were inconvenienced there. There were atrocities happening there. We are happy to be India and we are glad that the Bill has been passed in Lok Sabha. We will soon get Indian citizenship. We thank Modi Ji and Amit Shah for this,” Shammi Singh, one of the migrants, from Afghanistan, told ANI.
Asked about the opposition to the Bill, Singh said, “Although we come from Afghanistan, we are considered Indians. If you (opposition parties) oppose the Bill, then where will we stay.”
Echoing similar sentiments, another migrant from Afghanistan, Amrik Singh said that anyone who has been persecuted on religious lines can live in India and requested the opposition parties not to oppose the Bill.
“We came here in 2012. We have been struggling to make both ends meet. We are happy that the Bill has been passed in Lok Sabha. But I request the opposition parties to refrain from criticising the Bill. We are Indians and anyone can live here. We are a democratic country,” he said.
Rajni, a Sikh migrant from Afghanistan, hoped that the Bill will be passed in Parliament soon.
“I have been staying here since 2012. We are happy living here. I hope the Bill will be passed soon. It will be better if they (opposition) don’t oppose it,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, has been tabled in Rajya Sabha by Home Minister Amit Shah.
The Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zoroastrian communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.
Opposition parties including Congress, NCP, TMC and DMK are protesting against the Bill, which was passed by Lok Sabha on Monday with a majority of 311 votes against 80 in the Lower House, where 391 members were present and voting.
The NDA will require the support of at least 123 MPs in the 245-member Rajya Sabha for the Bill to be passed.
During the BJP parliamentary party meeting today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the Citizenship Amendment Bill will be written in “golden” letters as it will give permanent relief to people coming to India due religious persecution in their countries.