14:51 GMT20 February 2020
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    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) - Local authorities of India's West Bengal state passed a resolution against a controversial citizenship law, which was accused of discriminating against Muslims, the Republic broadcaster reported.

    According to the country's Republic broadcaster, West Bengal became the fourth out of 28 Indian states to vote against the law, which came into being on January 10 and streamlines citizenship for Hindus, Christians and other non-Muslims who have fled Muslim-majority countries to India. The other states include Kerala, Punjab and Rajasthan.

    Last week, India’s Supreme Court gave the government a month to respond to a slew of petitions against the citizenship law. The top court refused to put the law on hold until it heard the governments’ response to more than a hundred petitions challenging the legislation on the basis of constitutionality.

    India’s parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Act last December seeking to streamline obtaining the Indian citizenship for illegal immigrants of persecuted non-Muslim minorities from neighbouring countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    The bill, however, sparked violent protests across India for allegedly discriminating against Muslims, who form a 200-million-strong minority in the secular country.

    According to the Indian Muslim community, the law violates the constitution, as it oppresses a group of citizens in a formally secular country on religious grounds. The residents of the country's northeastern states fear that now millions of people from Bangladesh could legally settle in their regions, which could threaten the interests of the local population.

    Tags:
    Muslims, vote, West Bengal, law, citizenship, India
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