Protests over Indian nationality bill Dec 10, 2019 0 850 12345 AFPNew DelhiIndia’s parliament saw raucous scenes on Monday and protests raged in the north-east of the country as MPs debated legislation that stands to give citizenship to religious minorities from neighbouring countries, but not Muslims.To Muslim organisations, rights groups and others, the bill forms part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda -- which he denies -- of marginalising India’s 200-million-strong Islamic minority.The Citizenship Amendment Bill provides that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians fleeing persecution in Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan can be granted citizenship.Modi’s government had tried to bring in the contentious legislation during its first term but the bill could not pass the upper house where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies lack a majority.Shashi Tharoor, a member of the opposition Congress party, told parliament amid angry exchanges that the bill “infringes upon the principle of equality before law” guaranteed to all persons, including non-citizens.The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955 which prohibits illegal migrants from applying for Indian citizenship.Under Modi, the Islamic-sounding names of several cities have been changed, while some school textbooks have been altered to downplay Muslims’ contributions to India.In August his administration rescinded the partial autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, and split it into two.On Monday, 100 scientists and scholars at institutions in India and abroad published a joint letter expressing their “dismay” at the legislation.They said that enshrined in India’s constitution is the notion of treating all faiths equally. But Modi’s “proposed bill would mark a radical break with this history and would be inconsistent with the basic structure of the constitution”.The letter said such a careful exclusion of Muslims would “greatly strain” India’s pluralism. RELATED ARTICLES Miss South Africa wins 2019 Miss Universe crown Dec 10, 2019 0 2930 North Korea renews verbal attack on Trump despite US military action threats Dec 10, 2019 0 662 Pakistan FM boycotts Indian minister’s speech at regional summit in Istanbul Dec 10, 2019 0 680 Four-way Ukraine peace talks in Paris DPA Paris Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday joined French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for peace talks in Paris. The talks, .. China says it will continue ‘training’ Xinjiang people Beijing: China on Monday defended its vast network of re-education camps in Xinjiang and said it would continue “training” residents, following explosive government document leaks detailing surveillance and .. 5 dead, many hurt after New Zealand volcano eruption Wellington: Five people were killed, 18 were injured and several more were left stranded after an island volcano popular with tourists erupted unexpectedly in New Zealand on Monday. Police said some 50 people were .. Sri Lanka shakes up intelligence agency after Easter attacks Colombo: Sri Lanka has for the first time named a military officer to head the country’s main intelligence agency, which was blamed for failing to prevent Islamist extremist bombings in April that killed 259 people. The .. Ten killed as truck bombing hits army outpost in southern Afghanistan Kabul: At least ten people were killed after a Taliban truck bomb hit an army outpost in southern Helmand province on Monday, officials said. The attack took place at around 10 am [0530 GMT] in Nad Ali district. A Taliban .. Democrats lay out case for impeachment against Trump AFP Washington Democrats laid out the case for the impeachment of President Donald Trump on Monday as they prepared to issue formal charges against the US leader. Four months after an anonymous whistleblower sparked the ..