Members of the Shiromani Akali Dal demonstrate against the formation of separate Gurdwara Committee for Haryana near Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's residence in New Delhi on July 18, 2014. . Image Source: IANS News

Chandigarh, Dec 8 : The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) here on Sunday appreciated the central government's decision to introduce the Citizen Amendment Bill (CAB) in Parliament, saying a long-pending demand of the party had been accepted and urged that it must cover all persecuted people, irrespective of religion.

Keeping in view the country's socialistic, secular and democratic credentials as well as humanitarian principles, the Muslims should not be excluded from the CAB on the basis of religion, the SAD said.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the SAD core committee, presided over by Sukhbir Badal, at Badal village in Muktsar.

The NDA government had fulfilled the demand of the SAD as well as all minorities, including sikhs, jains, buddhists, parsis and christians, who had fled religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and taken refuge in India, it said.

The SAD chief said the party had been raising the issue of more than 75,000 sikhs who had fled Afghanistan more than 30 years ago and were surviving in Delhi. Hindus and even people from other communities had fled Pakistan and Bangladesh and sought refuge in India but were denied any rights, he said.

"The CAB not only franchises them but also protects their life and liberty as per the Constitution of India," the SAD leader said.

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