US proposes sanctions on Indian leadership over discriminatory bill against Muslims

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom on Tuesday expressed deep concern over the successful passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the lower house of the Indian parliament.
According to a report on Geo News, the bill is widely seen as being aimed at marginalizing the 200-million strong Muslim minority in the country. The lower house of the India parliament passed the bill early on Tuesday.
Geo News reported that the bill, once enacted into law, would grant citizenship to religious minorities from neighbouring countries but not Muslims. The bill was passed with 311 votes in favour and only 80 against.
However, the contentious bill, that has sparked protests in India, still has to be voted on by the upper house of the Indian legislature before it can be enacted as law, reports Geo News.
Reacting to the controversial bill, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a statement saying that it is ‘deeply troubled’ by the legislation.
According to the USCIRF, it will propose sanctions against senior members of the Indian political leadership if the bill is enacted as law. In its statement,the USCIRF noted that the bill specifically excluded Muslims.
“The Citizenship (Amendment) Billis a dangerous turn in the wrong direction; it runs counter to India’s rich history of secular pluralism,” the statement said. The commission also condemned the bill as a ‘violation’ of the Indian constitution.–DT

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