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India’s lower house passes contentious nationality bill

21 2 0
10.12.2019

India’s lower house passed controversial legislation early Tuesday that will grant citizenship to religious minorities from neighbouring countries, but not Muslims, amid raucous scenes in parliament and protests in the country’s northeast.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill provides that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians fleeing persecution in Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan can be granted citizenship.

It comfortably passed the lower house with 311 votes in favour and 80 against just after midnight.

“This bill is in line with India’s centuries old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, adding that he was “delighted” about its passage.

But to Muslim organisations, rights groups and others, the bill is part of Modi’s push to marginalise India’s 200-million-strong Islamic minority — a claim he and his government deny.

“This is not a bill that........

© Asian Correspondent