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US requests Indian authorities to Protect the rights of Religious Minorities

Protests have taken place in many parts of India over the CAA, which was approved by Parliament in recently during the winter session

Washington: Stressing that it is closely following the developments regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in India, US States Department has appealed to agitators to abstain from violence, and authorities to “protect and respect the right of peaceful assembly.”

“We are closely following developments regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act. We request authorities to protect and respect the right of peaceful assembly. We also request protestors to refrain from violence,” a US States Department spokesperson told ANI on Monday.

The State Department said that “respect for religious freedom and equal treatment under the law are fundamental principles of our two democracies”.  “The United States requested India to protect the rights of its religious minorities in keeping with India’s Constitution and democratic values.” Protests have taken place in many parts of India over the CAA, which was approved by Parliament in recently during the winter session.

Violence had erupted in several parts of India during the agitation over the amended Citizenship Act. The CAA seeks to provide citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have faced religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan and have arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014.

The United States has been observing the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act “closely”, the state department spokesperson said in the statement on Monday. An autonomous commission that considers itself a watchdog on the state of religious freedom abroad had even called for sanctions on CAA, during the course of its passage in Parliament.

The CAB was passed in both houses of Parliament last week and was subsequently signed into law by the President. But there has been no talk of sanctions, and there have been no signal if the call from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to sanction the Indian home ministry leadership had the support of the Donald Trump administration.

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