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India’s Citizen Amendment Act sparks protests there, and in Hartford

HARTFORD— Protests from India to the United States erupted after the Indian parliament ratified a controversial citizenship amendment.

Protestors in the capital city held a demonstration to address their concerns saying the act discriminates against Muslims.

Nihal Khan said, “It’s openly discriminating against the Muslim populations.”

Local activists say they are standing with brethren overseas.

The Citizenship Amendment Act seems to fast-track and grant Indian citizenship to Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs who fled Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh because of religious persecution before 2015.

It does not, however, do the same for Muslims, and goes even as far as to require people who already live in India to undergo a citizenship registry.

Khan said, “It’s saddening because the same people that are being discriminated against are the same people that fought and died for the independence for India in 1947, so it’s saddening."

The Indian Prime Minister defended the act in a tweet that said in part, “I want to unequivocally assure my fellow Indians that CAA does not affect any citizen of India of any religion... This act is only for those who have faced years of religious persecution outside and have no place to go but India.”

Critics however argue that the government may be trying to cover up protests by cutting off internet services and implementing curfews.

Khan said, “And it’s also become illegal in the state of whatever, where people are gathered together, with no more than four people are gathered they can be arrested. Like, how can you call a place a democracy and say 'oh we’re not gonna protest.' A democracy was built on the back of protests.”

When FOX61 asked what a good solution looks like, Khan said, “A good solution looks like everyone come in together and say we’re not going to discriminate against another human being based on their religion, based on where they come from.”

Activists say they will be writing letters to their representatives and say we can expect to hear more from them in the near future.

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