US panel seeks curbs on Indian minister over new citizenship bill

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - India's Home Minister Amit Shah.- PTI

The bill has prompted criticism at home and abroad, as it marks the first time India is weighing religion in granting citizenship.

A federal panel on religion has urged the United States to weigh sanctions against India's Home Minister Amit Shah if the country adopts legislation to exclude Muslims from a path to citizenship for religious minorities from its neighbours.

Shah is a close associate of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On Tuesday, parliament's lower house approved the measure covering citizenship for non-Muslim minorities, specifically Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs, who fled Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan before 2015.

The bill has prompted criticism at home and abroad, as it marks the first time India is weighing religion in granting citizenship.

The measure goes against India's constitution, which guarantees legal equality to people of all faiths, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom said. "If the CAB passes in both houses of parliament, the US government should consider sanctions against the Home Minister and other principal leadership," the panel said.

 

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