Hours after the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) suggested the Donald Trump-led government to consider imposing sanctions against Home Minister Amit Shah over the Citizenship Amendment Bill, India Tuesday termed the reaction as “neither accurate nor warranted”.
“The position articulated by USCIRF is not surprising given its past record. It is, however, regrettable that the body has chosen to be guided only by its prejudices and biases on a matter on which it clearly has little knowledge and no locus standi. Neither the CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill) nor the National Register of Citizens (NRC) process seeks to strip citizenship from any Indian citizen of any faith.” MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
Raising serious concerns over the passage of CAB in Lok Sabha late Tuesday, USCIRF said the US government should consider sanctions against Amit Shah if the Bill is passed by the Upper House too.
“The CAB enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excludes Muslims, setting a legal criterion for citizenship based on religion.
The CAB is a dangerous turn in the wrong direction; it runs counter to India’s rich history of secular pluralism and the Indian Constitution, which guarantees equality before the law regardless of faith,” it said in a press note.
The federal US commission on international religious freedom said the introduction of CAB along with the ongoing National Register of Citizens (NRC) process has instilled fears that the “religious test” would strip millions of Muslims of their citizenship.
According to the proposed legislation, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, 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. The bill ignores Muslims.