Controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill passes in Lok Sabha, raises concern among US representatives

indica news bureau-

The House Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives has voiced its apparent disapproval of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) passed in the Indian Parliament on Monday night with 311 votes in favor and 80 against.

The bill aims to provide citizenship to those who had been forced to seek shelter in India before Dec.31, 2014 because of religious persecution

The bill(CAB) has to pass through Rajya Sabha to become the law.

The bill includes Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. But the Muslims have been left out of the bill, many alleged that the bill was a move to target the majority in the country.

Commenting upon a article on the contentious Bill, the House Foreign Affairs Committee tweeted: “Religious pluralism is central to the foundations of both India and the US and is one of our core shared values. Any religious test for citizenship undermines this most basic democratic tenet. #CABBill.”

As a standing committee of the US House of Representatives, the House Foreign Affaris Committee has jurisdiction over the bills and investigations pertaining to US foreign affairs.

According to media reports, the bill has led to protests in many parts of the country including the North-Eastern states of India. All indigenous political parties, student groups and forums in Tripura and Assam have resorted to street protests against the CAB as they fear that it would encourage more infiltration from across the border.

They argue that a state like Tripura is the only state in the northeast where the indigenous population has been reduced to a minority due to a massive influx of non-tribal populations from East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. The North East Students’ Organization (NESO) backed by various other bodies and political parties has called for an 11-hour Northeast bandh till 4 pm, on Tuesday against the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Security was beefed up in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura.

Home Minister Responded to Concerns

Earlier in the day, the discussion over the Bill led to a tussle between the BJP and opposition parties and led by Congress, who alleged that the Bill was against Muslims in India. Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the bill was nothing but legislation targeted at minorities of India.

“I want to assure everyone here that by no account this bill violates the Constitution or Article 14,” Home Minister Amit Shah said while responding to the concerns raised by members of opposition parties in the due course of the day. “There is a difference between a refugee and an infiltrator, I assure you that after NRC comes into effect there will be no infiltrator in the country,” he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Delighted that the Lok Sabha has passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 after a rich and extensive debate. I thank the various MPs and parties that supported the Bill. This Bill is in line with India’s centuries-old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values.”

Muslim lawmaker, Asaduddin Owasisi tore up the copy of the bill in the Indian parliament saying, “We are heading towards a fascist state. We are making India a theocratic country.”