World, Asia - Pacific

OIC wing condemns violence against protesters in India

Group's Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission says citizenship law is biased, discriminatory and diversionary act

Islamuddin Sajid   | 24.12.2019
OIC wing condemns violence against protesters in India


The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) on Monday strongly condemned the violence and loss of life during ongoing peaceful protests in India against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) recently enacted by the government.

In a statement issued from the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, it noted that Muslims throughout India as well as cross sections of Indian society have rejected the CAB as a biased, discriminatory and diversionary act which goes against the Indian constitution.

Sharing the OIC’s concerns on developments in India, the IPHRC welcomed the statement of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and said the CAB is “fundamentally discriminatory in nature”.

Recalling the series of other discriminatory actions, including the government’s revoking of Indian-administered Kashmir’s special status on Aug. 5, the discriminatory screening of Muslims from the National Register of Citizens in Assam and open plans to build a Hindu temple at the site of the centuries-old Babri Mosque, the IPHRC said it regretted that these actions reflect a consistent pattern of the bigoted far-right Hindutva policies that aim to subjugate Muslims in India.

It urged the international community and the UN to pressure the Indian government to repeal the discriminatory clauses of its Citizenship Amendment Act and abide by relevant international norms and standards in dealing with the ongoing peaceful protests and ensure the protection of all human rights.

On Dec. 13, the UN human rights body said the amendment to the Citizenship Act gives priority to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians resident in India before 2014 but excludes Muslims, including minority sects.

“Although India’s broader naturalization laws remain in place, these amendments will have a discriminatory effect on people’s access to nationality,” said Jeremy Laurence, a spokesperson with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

On Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a public meeting in Delhi, said the citizenship law and National Register of Citizens have nothing to do with Indian Muslims.

“The act is not for any citizen of India, be it Hindu or Muslim. This law doesn't apply to any of the 130 crore [1.3 billion] Indians,” he said.

However, Muslim leaders believe the new law will be linked to a nationwide exercise where every citizen would be asked to prove Indian citizenship.

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