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Citizenship (Amendment) Bill: U.S. panel considers recommending sanctions against Amit Shah

A TV grab of Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaking in the Lok Sabha.

A TV grab of Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaking in the Lok Sabha.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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U.S. International Commission on Religious Freedom calls the Bill’s passage ‘deeply disturbing’

In the wake of the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the Lok Sabha, the U.S. International Commission on Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has expressed concern over it and considered recommending sanctions against Home Minister Amit Shah and other top leaders.

Watch | All about the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019

“If the CAB passes in both Houses of Parliament, the United States government should consider sanctions against the Home Minister and other principal leadership,” a December 9 statement from the USCIRF said.

The Commission, an independent and bi-partisan federal government body, called the Bill’s passage “deeply troubling” .

“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.

“In conjunction with the ongoing National Register of Citizens (NRC) process in Assam and nationwide NRC that the Home Minister seeks to propose, USCIRF fears that the Indian government is creating a religious test for Indian citizenship that would strip citizenship from millions of Muslims,” it said.

Also read: Editorial | Unequal, unsecular: On Citizenship Amendment Bill

Not warranted: India

In response, the External Affairs Ministry said India had the prerogative to validate its citizenry through various policies like any other country. “The statement made by the USCIRF is neither accurate nor warranted. The Bill provides expedited consideration for Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities already in India from certain contiguous countries...,” said Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

(With inputs from Kallol Bhattacherjee)

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Printable version | Jan 30, 2020 2:33:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/citizenship-amendment-bill-us-panel-considers-recommending-sanctions-against-amit-shah/article30264566.ece

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