A new legislative document by a US federal panel alleges that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) is part of an effort by the Indian government to create a religious test for citizenship.
In a factsheet issued on Wednesday the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said that after the passage of the citizenship law large scale protests had broken out across India.
"Quickly after the CAA's passage, large scale protests broke out across India with the government instituting a violent crackdown against the protestors. In conjunction with a proposed nation-wide National Register of Citizens, there are fears that this law is part of an effort to create a religious test for Indian citizenship and could lead to the widespread disenfranchisement of Indian Muslims," USCIRF said.
The CAA grants citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist, and Christian refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, who came to India on or before December 31, 2014. Protests have erupted across the country against the contentious CAA since Parliament gave its nod to the Bill last year.
The USCIRF had then condemned the then Bill terming it as a "dangerous turn in the wrong direction" and sought US sanctions against Home Minister Amit Shah "and other principal Indian leadership" if the with the "religious criterion" is passed by both houses of Parliament.
India had condemned the "inaccurate" and "unwarranted" comments made by USCIRF and said that the Act aims at providing expedited consideration for Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from "contiguous" countries.