Indian MPs back anti-Muslim citizenship laws

Indian MPs back anti-Muslim citizenship laws

Indian MPs back anti-Muslim citizenship laws

Piloting the bill in Lok Sabha, home minister Rajnath Singh asserted that the Centre would take all steps to protect the Assamese culture and traditions, but remained, at the same time, unapologetic about the need to give special protection to Hindus facing persecution in neighbouring countries.

In Assam's Golaghat and Dibrugarh districts, protesters attempted to vandalise BJP offices, leading to the arrest of 14 persons in Dibrugarh and four in Golaghat, police said.

The Congress and the AIUDF also lashed out at senior minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for claiming that the state will "go Jinnah's way if the Citizenship Bill is not passed".

Assam police spokesman Mukesh Agarwal said more than 700 demonstrators were arrested.

The objective of NRC is to identify those people who immigrated, illegally, from Bangladesh to Assam after 24 March 1971.

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), based in the border state of Assam in India's northeast, has become the fourth ally to quit the ruling National Democratic Alliance in the past year, for a variety of reasons.

"We have extended support to the ongoing bandh today, so chose to postpone the formalities to resign for tomorrow", Bora said.

The Bill seeks to enable Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh without valid travel documents or those whose valid documents expired in recent years to acquire Indian citizenship through the process of naturalization.

Talking to newsmen, Conrad Sangma termed the passing of the Bill as unfortunate saying the Meghalaya Government had vehemently opposed the Bill and the Cabinet had even passed a resolution against the implementation of the Bill.

The BJP had promised to ensure the passage of the bill in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

"Let us see. We will call a party meeting and decide how the future roadmap", he said.

India's lower house of parliament has approved a bill that would grant residency and citizenship rights to non-Muslim immigrants, sparking protests that brought the country's populous northeast to a near standstill. "The State has since India's independence absorbed waves of migrants from present day Bangladesh and can no longer do so", AGP president Atul Bora said after returning from New Delhi on Tuesday morning. Assam's people will never allow this bill to be implemented.

"We felt betrayed at the BJP's attitude towards the bill as when we entered into the alliance, we were convinced Prime Minister Narendra Modi was committed to resolve the issue of illegal migrants".

BJP Spokesperson Rupam Goswami said, "We have not got any information officially".

Bora, along with Kesab Mahanta, the AGP working president, and Phani Bhusan Choudhury of the party are ministers in the BJP-led government in Assam. The move came within hours of the presentation in Lok Sabha of a report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee examining the bill that was first introduced in Parliament in 2016. As the government did not heed to the demand, the Congress staged a walkout. BJP allies Shiv Sena and JD-U have announced that they would oppose the bill in Parliament.

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