US Senator Bob Menendez urged the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to press the Indian government for a ‘swift reversal’ of the newly enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed nation-wide register of citizens to ensure the protection of human rights.
Menendez, a Ranking Member of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, dashed off a letter to Pompeo on January 14th, 2020. He expressed concern over the Act and potential for the establishment of a nationwide NRC.
He asserted that the US must remain steadfast in defending democratic values, freedoms and human rights. “I urge the administration to engage the Indian government at the highest levels on these concerns, press for a swift reversal of these policies and practices, and ensure the protection of the human rights of all persons in India regardless of their religion,” he added.
Besides, he said that the law based on the ‘religion’ violates India’s international legal obligations and its constitution. “These efforts threaten India’s a long history of secularism and democratic values,” claimed the Democrat leader as quoted by the Outlook.
Talking on the NRC, he said, “The government’s effort in Assam has left effectively 1.9 million persons, primarily Bengali-speaking Muslims, stateless. The government appears to now be extending this effort across the country,” he said.
However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2019 had said that his government has never discussed the NRC since coming to power for the first time in 2014 and it was done only in Assam due to a Supreme Court order.
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