The former Indian football team captain Bhaichung Bhutia on Thursday expressed concern over the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, and said that it could be dangerous for the people of Sikkim. He stated: "Future of next generation of Sikkimese people could be in danger once citizenship bill comes into force."
The actor turned politician expressed disappointment that Sikkim was not excluded from the ambit of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, unlike several other northeastern states. Bhutia also expressed his fears that the legislation will dilute special provisions of the Himalayan state that it enjoys under Article 371F of the Constitution.
Bhutia, who is also the president of Hamro Sikkim Party, urged the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha-led government to press for implementing Inner Line Permit in the state and quit the NDA in protest against the passage of the Bill.
A wide range of protests broke out in the North-Eastern states against the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) last week. Around 10 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been moved to Assam to deal with the unrest.
Earlier, former CM of Assam Tarun Gogoi had stated that CAB was 'dangerous' for Assam and would adversely affect the culture, heritage and population structure of the North-East. The Assam government on Wednesday had decided to suspend all internet services in ten districts of Assam for 24 hours in the wake of the rising protests in the state. With increasing unrest in Assam and other northeastern states, the Indian Railways have canceled 12 trains in the state due to the 'Rail Roko Andolan'.
On Wednesday, the Rajya Sabha passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 by a majority of 125-105 votes. The bill amends the Citizenship Act 1955 to make refugees who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for Indian citizenship. Moreover, the Bill exempts the inner line permit areas in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh and areas falling under the Sixth Schedule in the region and will be applicable to the members of these communities having arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014