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Muslims lacking 'proper documentation' face presumption of being infiltrators: IAMC

By Our Representative 
One of the largest US-based diaspora advocacy groups, coming down heavily on over the announcement of the Government of India to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has said that the move is "discriminatory." Announced on March 11, the notified CAA rules seek to grant Indian nationality exclusively to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who entered India before December 31, 2014.
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), representing diaspora Indian Muslims in the US,
said in a statement, "Aligned with human rights organizations globally, IAMC is deeply concerned that this law, when coupled with the National Register of Citizens (NRC), poses a grave threat to the rights of over 200 million Indian Muslims, potentially resulting in the stripping of citizenship from those lacking decades-old documentation."
The implementation of the citizenship law comes almost four years after it was first passed in the Indian parliament, which resulted in some of the massive protests that the country witnessed post-independence. "Dozens of Muslims were killed and hundreds injured in the resulting police action. Many leaders who led the anti-CAA protests still continue to languish behind bars under bogus terror charges", the statement asserted.
IAMC recalled, the NRC's rollout in August 2019 in the northeastern state of Assam saw 1.9 million individuals excluded from the list of Indian citizens, effectively rendering them stateless, pointing out, "Indian Home Minister Amit Shah has repeatedly stated his government's intention to implement the CAA before conducting a nationwide NRC exercise, purportedly to detect and deport every infiltrator from our motherland."
According to the diaspora group, "Under this system, Hindus excluded from the NRC could ostensibly gain citizenship through the CAA. Conversely, any Muslim lacking proper documentation faces the presumption of being an infiltrator and subsequent loss of citizenship."
The law is flagrant manifestation of discriminatory intent, designed with explicit purpose of disenfranchising Indian Muslims
“The law is a flagrant manifestation of discriminatory intent, designed with the explicit purpose of discriminating, dispossessing, and disenfranchising Indian Muslims. Its insidious aim becomes glaringly apparent when considered alongside the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens,” the statement quotes Mohammed Jawad, IAMC President.
“Together, these measures form a sinister framework intended to systematically strip millions of Muslims of their citizenship, render them stateless in their own homeland and seal their lives to the dehumanizing conditions of detention camps. It represents a grave violation of human rights and stands as a stark indictment of the erosion of democratic principles,” Jawad adds.
The statement said, "During the 2020 election campaign, President Joe Biden had expressed his disappointment at the implementation of CAA and NRC by labeling them inconsistent with the country’s long tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy.”
Noting that the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), too, has "consistently warned that the CAA could subject Muslims, in particular, to statelessness, deportation and prolonged detention”, it added, "In January 2024, the European Parliament passed a resolution condemning the discriminatory CAA law, highlighting concerns regarding India's human rights and religious freedom issues."



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