WASHINGTON : Decrying the Citizenship Amendment Bill as “dangerous step in the wrong direction”, a federal US Commission sought American sanctions a Union Home Minister Amit shah and country’s top leadership.
The agency issued a statement Monday morning alleging that the new Bill enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, that categorically excludes Muslims. It sets stage for religion to be the legal criterion for citizenship, the agency argued..
“It runs counter to the India’s rich history of secular pluralism and the Indian Constitution, which guarantees equality before the law regardless of faith,” the US Commission for International Religious Freedom(USCIRF) said. The USCIRF is deeply troubled by passage of CAB, originally introduced by the Home Minister Shah,” it added
The CAB opens up citizenship for non-Muslim refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh on grounds of religious persecution with Dec 31, 2014 as the cut-ff.
The new Bill seeks to amend the definition of illegal immigrant for Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Buddhist and Christian immigrants who have lived in India without documentation. They will be granted fast-track Indian citizenship in six years, the previous eligibility being 12 years of residence. The legislation applies to those who were “forced or compelled to seek shelter in India due to persecution on the ground of religion. “
The Bill keeps Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya out of its purview while Manipur will now be covered by the inner line permit system that keeps out non-locals.