22:10 GMT +317 January 2020
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    Protests Against New Citizenship Law in India (50)
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India has been rocked by protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act since it was introduced last week. The law has faced much flak for granting citizenship to Hindus, Parsis, Jains, Christians, Buddhists, and Sikhs from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, if they arrived prior to 2015, while conspicuously omitting Muslims.

    Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have the option to go to as many as 150 Islamic countries in the world while persecuted minorities in the three neighbouring countries have nowhere to go except India to seek refuge, Indian Minister of Transport Nitin Gadkari said while addressing a rally in support of the 2019 Citizenship (Amendment) Act in the city of Nagpur in the Indian state of Maharashtra on Sunday.

    ​“The Muslims who come from these three countries are not called refugees while the Hindus, Jain, Parsis, Sikh, Christians etc are called refugees. There are 100 to 150 countries that are Islamic if Muslims of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh want to leave their country they can go to as many as 150 countries. But the Hindus, Sikhs, Jain, Parsi, Christians have nowhere to go except India,” he said.

    As per the reports, the rally was organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and Lok Adhikar Manch, among others.

    ​Gadkari said that Hindus and other religious minorities have to face persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and have nowhere to go except India.

    "Where they will go except India?" said Gadkari. "They are faced with numerous atrocities, murder, rapes and loot of their property. There are forceful conversions," he added.

    Anti-Citizenship Act Movement Continues

    Meanwhile, dozens of people took out a march in south Delhi on Sunday in support of Jamia Millia Islamia students and those facing police action for violent protests against the new citizenship law.

    ​Holding placards, people shouted slogans and demanded the scrapping of the contentious law. A group of Jamia students also participated in the protest. India's capital has been witnessing a number of protests against the new law, some of them violent, for a week.

    The Citizenship Amendment Act grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan and arrived before 31 December 2014. It, however, barred Muslims from the same countries of origin from being granted citizenship, amid new measures to register all citizens.

    Topic:
    Protests Against New Citizenship Law in India (50)

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    Maharashtra, Parliament, citizenship law, India
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