POST TIME: 11 December, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 10 December, 2019 10:38:17 PM
US commission for sanctions against Amit if Indian citizenship bill passed
PTI, New Delhi

US commission for sanctions against Amit if Indian citizenship bill passed

Samajwadi Party activists shout slogans as they hold placards to protest against the government's Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Allahabad yesterday. Protestors in northeast India set fire to tyres and cut down trees to block roads in a shutdown across the region hours after lawmakers approved the bill. AFP photo

A federal US commission on international religious freedom has said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is a "dangerous turn in wrong direction" and sought American sanctions against Home Minister Amit Shah if the bill is passed by both houses of the Indian Parliament. In a statement issued on Monday, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said that it was deeply troubled over the passage of the bill in Lok Sabha. It alleged that the CAB enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excludes Muslims, setting a legal criterion for citizenship based on religion.

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 facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship. Amit Shah on Monday introduced the controversial bill in Lok Sabha, where it was passed with 311 members favouring it and 80 voting against it, will now be tabled in the Rajya Sabha for its nod. Amit 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 government as he asserted that the bill will give relief to those minorities who have been living a painful life after facing persecution in neighbouring countries.

Amit Shah asserted that the bill has the “endorsement of 130 crore Indian citizens” and rejected suggestions that the measure is anti-Muslims, saying it will give rights to persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.