New Delhi: The Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Union has submitted a resolution calling the Citizenship Amendment Act as “discriminatory” and “dangerously divisive.” It seeks to call upon the Indian government to engage with protesters and listen to their demands to repeal the legislation.
Passed by the 154-member S&D Groups of Members of the EU from 24 countries, the resolution is expected to be debated on January 29. A vote on it is likely on January 30.
The resolution denounces the fact that religion has become a criteria for the naturalization of a person as Indian citizen. It expresses concerns that the citizenship legislation along with the National Register of Citizens exercise, announced by the Centre to be conducted nationwide, will “render many Muslims citizens stateless.”
Indian authorities are urged to uphold the people’s right to peaceful protest, said the resolution, reminding India of its obligations to many internationally principles that prevent deprivation of citizenship on basis of race, color, descent etc. as given in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The lawmakers who drafted the resolution have also condemned the use of “excessive force in the crackdown” on the protests against the CAA and have urged authorities to stop the “criminalization of protests.”
The controversial citizenship legislation has also been condemned in the US by the State Department and the Congress. Two house resolutions were tabled by two Rep. Rashida and Rep. Pramila Jaypal even though these resolutions are not passed onto the Senate for a vote. Democratic representatives have also openly expressed their reservations on it. Earlier, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USIRF) had raised concerns over it even before it was endorsed by the Rajya Sabha.
Besides, 57 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has also declared that it was "increasingly concerned" by the CAA due to its disrimination of Indian Muslims.
The new law has received considerable flak with spontaneous protests erupting across the world.
India's amended Citizenship Act of India provides for Indian citizenship to six non-Muslim minority religious communities from the country's three bodering neighbours namely Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Persons seeking citizenship will have to live for six years in the country and enter the country before December 31, 2014.