MEPs strongly denounce India’s citizenship law

ISLAMABAD: India’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has received strong criticism by members of European Parliament Brussels with serious concerns expressed over its discriminatory nature.
The Members of European Parliament (MEPs) representing various party groups took part in a debate on the resolution, the voting for which was deferred till March at a session held on Thursday due to the case currently pending with Supreme Court of India.
Spanish MEP Idoia Villanueva from Ruiz of Group of European United Left -Nordic Green, said the recently-passed laws in India, namely the CAA 2019 and National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the revocation of Articles 370 and 35A, conflicted with democratic values and violated international law.
She said Modi government’s repression of Kashmir was tantamount to fascism and should be condemned.
Michael Gahler, MEP from Germany representing European Peoples Party Group in the European Parliament, said as the issue led to violence, the EU needed to have a closer look on what’s happening in India.
British MEP John Howarth, representing Group of Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats strongly criticised India for initiating CAA for being highly discriminatory piece of legislation targeting a specific religious group, particularly Muslims.
“A strong message needs to be sent to the Indian government, whether it is Kashmir or rights of citizens, that without respect for human rights, India’s relations with the EU would be under serious threat.”
MEP Scott Ainslie of Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance termed CAA having an Islamophobic agenda which could deny 200 million Muslims, nearly half the population of the EU towards statelessness, incarceration and deportation.
He said it was shameful that in the state of Assam, 1.9 million citizens already suffered this nationalistic move of Modi.
He urged the EU to stay principled and fight against human rights violations and injustices and take concrete actions as just words are not enough.
Fabio Massimo Castaldo MEP, from Italy representing non-attached Members group condemned the decision of India, urging it to repeal the discriminatory law.
He pointed out that if the aim of registration was to protect persecuted communities, then why it did not include other minorities like Rohingyas in Myanmar, Biharis in Bangladesh etc.
Phil Bennion, MEP representing Renew Europe Group said the CAA was seriously flawed, discriminatory on religious grounds and contrary to the principle of secularism.
He said that Indian government must ensure that its security forces exercised restraint in dealing with the protestors and should be held accountable for their excessive use of force.
Shafaq Mohammad, a Liberal Democrat MEP from the United Kingdom, who was among the authors of the resolution said, “Had thought that this house had learned its lessons from (Holocaust) history and prepared to act to stop any such thing again, but the postponement vote indicates, still there are people who have yet to learn”. He stressed that CAA must be judged on the basis of international law and must be repealed if it contradicts it.–Agencies