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Lok Sabha passes Citizenship Amendment Bill

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Parliament of India

New Delhi, Dec 10 : The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 after a six-hour long debate which saw a fiery speech by Union Home Minister Amit Shah defending the controversial Bill.

Among a total of 391 members present in the Lower House, 311 voted in favour of the Bill while 80 voted against it.

The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, excluding Muslims, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship. The Bill relaxes the requirement of residence in India from 11 years to six years for these migrants

“Delighted that the Lok Sabha has passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 after a rich and extensive debate. I thank the various MPs and parties that supported the Bill. This Bill is in line with India’s centuries old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

While defending the Bill in the Lok Sabha, Shah said that the Citizenship Bill does not affect Indian Muslims. He also said that no need to prepare background, India will have National Register of Citizens.

Cities

Fire at wholesale rice market in Kolkata

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Kolkata, A fire broke out at the wholesale rice market in north Kolkata’s Raja Bazar on Sunday. No casualty or injury was reported.

Smoke was seen billowing from a factory premises around 2.15 p.m. Eleven fire engines fought the blaze and controlled it in an hour.

“Chemicals stored in the factory helped fan the fire. Since the area is densely populated, fire-fighters faced problems in controlling the fire,” said West Bengal Fire Service Minister Sujit Bose.Cooling operation was on, Bose said.

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2 trapped in house collapse in Delhi

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New Delhi, At least two persons were feared trapped after a house collapsed in south Delhi’s C.R. Park area on Sunday, fire officials said.

“Five fire tenders have been rushed to the site,” said Delhi Fire Services Chief Atul Garg. The rescue and search operations were underway.

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India

Sedition case against 3 Kashmiri students in Karnataka

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Hubballi, Three Kashmiri students of a private engineering college in Karnataka’s Hubballi have been booked for sedition after they allegedly raised pro-Pakistan slogans, police said on Sunday.

“The three suspects are being questioned for raising pro-Pakistan and ‘Azadi’ slogans in their college hostel on Friday, which coincided with the first anniversary of Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir a year ago,” Hubballi Police Commissioner Ramaswamy Dileep told IANS.

Hubballi is about 410 kms northwest of Bengaluru. The trio, identified as Ameer, Basit and Talib from Kashmir’s Shopian district, were booked under section 124 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on a complaint by the KLES Institute of Technology for attempting to disturb communal harmony by raising anti-national slogans,” said Dileep.

The section deals with offences against the state.The institute’s principal Basavraj Anami complained to the police that the first-year students got admission under the central government quota.

“The incident occurred when the college was holding a function to pay homage to the martyrs of the Pulwama attack on Friday. Instead of attending the event, they were in the hostel taking a video of them shouting pro-Pakistan slogans,” Dileep said quoting from the complaint.

The principal came to know about the incident on Saturday when the video went viral on social media after they uploaded its footage to their friends’ WhatsApp groups.

“Pending investigation, the college has suspended the three students from the institute after the principal viewed the video and questioned their act,” added Dileep.

Condemning the students for raising pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans, state Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar, who hails from Hubballi, said the government would not tolerate such anti-national activities by anyone.

Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi, who represents the adjacent Dharwad Lok Saba constituency, said stern action would be taken against the accused for raising such anti-national slogans.

“Students who avail government scholarships and raise slogans against the country are under the impression that they can get away by indulging in such anti-national activities. Stern action will be taken against them after investigation as such actions cannot be tolerated,” Joshi said here.

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