(UTV|COLOMBO) -India’s parliament has approved a bill that grants citizenship to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The bill passed the upper house of parliament by 125 votes to 105. It had already cleared the lower house.
The news came as protests against the bill raged in north-eastern states bordering Bangladesh. Troops were deployed in Tripura and police battled protesters in Assam’s capital Guwahati.
Critics say the bill is discriminatory.
But the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) says it will give sanctuary to people fleeing religious persecution.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is now set to be signed into law.
What are critics saying?
Those protesting against the bill say it is part of the BJP’s agenda to marginalise Muslims and violates India’s secular principles.
“Muslims are already being persecuted. This will make them more vulnerable,” a participant at a protest against the bill in Delhi told the BBC.
More than 700 eminent Indian personalities, including jurists, lawyers, academics and actors, have signed a statement “categorically” condemning the bill.
It says that the government seems “intent on causing huge upheavals within Indian society”.
Many others have questioned why it only refers to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, when minorities from other neighbouring countries were also being persecuted.
(Courtesy – BBC)
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