Appreciating the NDA Government’s decision to bring the Citizen Amendment Bill for clearance in the Parliament on Monday, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Sunday said that the party’s long pending demand had been accepted. At the same time, the party urged that the Bill cover all persecuted people irrespective of religion.
Keeping in view the country’s socialistic, secular and democratic credentials as well as humanitarian principles, Muslims should not be excluded from the Bill on the basis of religion, stated the SAD, following the party’s core committee meet, presided over by the party president Sukhbir Badal at Badal village in Muktsar on Sunday.
The core panel appreciated the Citizen Amendment Bill unreservedly saying that the NDA Government had fulfilled the demand of the SAD as well as all minorities including Sikhs, Hindus, Jain, Budhists, Parsis and Christians who had fled religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and taken refuge in India.
“SAD has been raising the issue of more than 75,000 Sikhs who had fled Afghanistan more than 30 years back and are living in Delhi in very difficult straits. Besides, Sikhs and Hindus and even people from other communities had fled Pakistan and Bangladesh and sought refuge in India but were denied any rights,” said Sukhbir adding that the Bill not only franchises them but also protects their life and liberty as per the constitution of the country.
Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for this historic legislation, core committee said that efforts should be made to encompass all persecuted people under the Bill and not to have any distinction based on religion.
“A clause should be inserted in the Bill stating that all persecuted people who had sought refuge in the country would be given citizenship irrespective of their religion,” it demanded.