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Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019: Federal US commission seeks sanctions against home minister Amit Shah

CITIZENSHIP (AMENDMENT) BILL 2019: FEDERAL US

In a statement issued on Monday, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) alleged that the CAB enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excludes Muslims, setting a legal criterion for citizenship.

WASHINGTON: Describing the Citizenship Amendment Bill as a “dangerous turn in the wrong direction”, a federal US commission on international religious freedom has sought American sanctions against Home Minister Amit Shah and other principal Indian leadership if the bill with the “religious criterion” is passed by both houses of Parliament.

The Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan after facing religious persecution there, a little past midnight on Monday.

According to the proposed legislation, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

The USCIRF said that it was deeply troubled over the passage of the bill in Lok Sabha.”If the CAB passes in both houses of Parliament, the US government should consider sanctions against the Home Minister Amit Shah and other principal leadership,” the commission said.”The USCIRF is deeply troubled by the passage of the CAB, originally introduced by Home Minister Shah, in the Lok Sabha given the religion criterion in the bill,” it added.

Shah on Monday introduced the controversial bill in Lok Sabha, where it was passed with 311 members favouring it and 80 voting against it. It will now be tabled in the Rajya Sabha for its nod.

Shah while introducing the bill had made it clear that people belonging to any religion should not have any fear under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government as he asserted that the bill will give relief to those minorities who have been living a painful life after facing persecution in neighbo ..

In a statement issued on Monday, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) alleged that the CAB enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excludes Muslims, setting a legal criterion for citizenship based on religion.
“The CAB is a dangerous turn in the wrong direction; it runs counter to India’s rich history of secular pluralism and the Indian Constitution, which guarantees equality before the law regardless of faith,” it said.
India from the days of the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime has consistently said that it does not recognise a third country’s views or reports on its internal affairs. Based on this ground, India for more than a decade now has denied visas to USCIRF officials to travel to India for their on the ground assessment of the religious freedom in India.
The powerful Congressional committee also shared an article from The New York Times on the issue.“It is the most significant move yet to profoundly alter India’s secular nature enshrined by its founding leaders when the country gained independence in 1947,” the daily said in its news dispatch from India.

Indiavotekar

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