10:12 GMT25 February 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): India has been witnessing widespread demonstrations against a controversial citizenship law enacted by the Indian Parliament in December 2019. The new law grants citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan but excludes Muslims.

    Members from several opposition parties in the Indian Parliament have given a stop business notice against a controversial citizenship law. With incidents of violence, unprecedented and elongated protests across the country, the demand to repeal the law has increased.

    Opposition Indian National Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma have given the suspension of business notice in the upper house, while Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Kodikunnil Suresh, and Gaurav Gogoi have given an adjournment motion notice in the lower house to "reconsider the Citizenship Amendment Act after unrest in the country & to stop the process of National Register of Citizens & National Population Register".

    The Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India, and the Bahujan Samaj Party have also given suspension of business notices in the upper house, demanding the law be repealed immediately.

    A stop business or adjournment motion is an extraordinary procedure which, if permitted, leads to setting aside the normal business of the house to discuss a definite matter of urgent public importance.

    Protests against the controversial law have rocked the country ever since it was enacted by the federal government on 13 December 2019. CAA grants citizenship to illegal immigrants from six religious minorities – Hindus, Parsis, Jains, Christians, Buddhists, and Sikhs from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan if they arrived in India before 2015, but excludes Muslims.

    Another burning issue is the National Population Register (NPR). The federal government has claimed that the NPR is a periodical population census.

    However, in 2015, the federal government stated in Parliament that the purpose of creating the NPR was to record all residents in the country, which would eventually serve as the mother of databases for creating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) by verifying the citizenship status of every resident.

    India's Muslim population has been voicing its concerns over the CAA and NRC, fearing they would unfairly target them and that only Muslims would be asked to prove their citizenship.

     

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    opposition party, Indian National Congress, violence, protests, citizenship law, India
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