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Rajya Sabha passes Citizenship Amendment Bill

Parliament Winter Session 2019, Citizenship Amendment Bill Today in Rajya Sabha LIVE Updates: The Bill was passed with 125 members voting in favour of the motion and 105 voting against it.

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Delhi: Rajya Sabha passes (Citizenship) Amendment Bill. The Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha with 125 members favouring it and 105 voting against it. Earlier the demand for referring the Bill to the Select Committee was negated.

The members of Shiv Sena, the latest Congress ally, were absent at the time of voting. The Janata Dal (United) voted for the Bill.

The CAB paves the way for citizenship to lakhs of illegal immigrants living in various parts of the country, even if they lacked any document to prove their residency.

The cut-off date for being eligible for the Indian nationality is December 31, 2014, which means those applying for citizenship should have entered India on or before this date. The citizenship would be granted with retrospective effect.

The Lok Sabha had passed the Bill on Monday.

Seeking all members’ support to the legislation, Home Minister Amit Shah requested opposition not to use politics to divide the society.

Replying to the debate, Shah said 44 members presented their views, suggestions and objections in the House. “I want present few facts. This Bill should have not been brought. There was no need to amend the Citizenship Act if country was not divided. Also, had some previous government acted, we would have not brought the Bill,” he said.

Stressing the need of the Bill, Shah said, “For how long we will keep on delaying the problems of the country. The Liaquat-Nehru pact (or the Delhi Pact) happened on April 8, 1950. Both the countries agreed to treat minorities with dignity and allow them to freely follow their religion. It was a promise. But eventually the promise was broken.”

He assured the House that the Bill would allow illegal immigrants to say the truth that they were immigrants and seek citizenship. “The cries and tears of these people were never heard or cared for for so many years,” the Minister said.

On why minorities from Bhutan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka had been left out, Shah said the government had allowed citizenship to people coming Sri Lanka and Uganda and amendments were made accordingly. “We named three countries only to help people coming from these countries. We don’t need to distract the problems now,” he said and added, the Bill was introduced in 2015 and gone through parliamentary committees.

“Solving problem is the priority, keeping citizens in mind, is aim of our government,” Shah said.

Remarking that the Constitution of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan states that they are Islamic countries, Shah said, “Are Muslims minority in these three countries? When countries’ religion is Islam then cases of persecution of Muslims very less.”

The Home Minister said we had provisions for Muslim victims of persecution and they had been given citizenship on case to case basis. He also highlighted how Chidambaram as the Home Minister had accorded citizenship to Hindus and Sikhs in Rajasthan.

Asking the opposition to stop befooling minorities, Shah said, “What the Congress is doing is secularism. And what we are doing is against the Constitution.”

“I have always said minorities in India need not be scared of anything. This CAB will not affect any Mulish brother and sisters. Why opposition is creating a divide,” the Minister said.

“On September 26, 1947, Gandhi said, Hindu and Sikh living in Pakistan can fearlessly come to India. It is duty of India to give them shelter and job,” he substantiated his arguments by quoting Mahatma Gandhi.

Criticising the Congress, Bhupender Yadav (BJP) said they were in power for 10 years but did nothing for the persecuted people. “This Citizenship Amendment Bill was discussed during the UPA and the NDA governments. The UPA ignored it and the NDA took up the issue and is ensuring that immigrants should be treated with equality,” Yadav said.

KJ Alphons (BJP) said the Bill would allow persecuted minorities in neighbouring countries the right to live.

The Janata Dal-United supported the Bill. Naga Peoples Front (NPF) MP KG Kenye extended his support to the Bill and said the issue was being discussed in the House completely out of context.

Opposing the Bill, Kapil Sibal (Congress) said the CAB had a legal colour of the two-nation theory and added, religion couldn’t be a factor in acquisition of citizenship.

Terming the CAB “blatantly unconstitutional”, P. Chidambaram (Congress) said the government was introducing a new category called citizenship by arbitrary executive feat.

“I dare the government to lay the opinion of the Law Department. I dare the government to invite the Attorney General to answers the questions. What we are doing today is breaking the Constitution from within. A small part of the Constitution is being racked and being demolished by these insidious people,” Chidambaram said.

Taking a dig at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sanjay Raut (Sena) said that India’s muscular and powerful government would finish Pakistan if they didn’t like their language. “We have a very powerful government. If you do not like the language of Pakistan we should finish it,” the Sena leader said.

India

Passengers can make bookings from April 15 onwards: AirAsia

According to the senior official, the current lockdown period is till the midnight of April 14 and if this is not extended then these bookings will be honoured.

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Air Asia

New Delhi, April 5 : Budget passenger carrier AirAsia India on Saturday said that passengers can continue to make their bookings for flights that wil be operated from April 15 onwards.

“If at all there is any change based on the direction provided by the regulator, we will abide to the policies and notify guests accordingly,” a spokesperson of the airline said.

At present, no foreign or domestic passenger flight operations are allowed till April 14.

On Thursday, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said that domestic airlines are free to accept ticket bookings for flights that will be operated post the current lockdown deadline.

According to the senior official, the current lockdown period is till the midnight of April 14 and if this is not extended then these bookings will be honoured.

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Health

Coronavirus: CRPF DG AP Maheshwari goes on self-quarantine

The infected CRPF officer has been admitted to AIIMS, Jhajjar.

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A P Maheshwari

New Delhi, April 4 : CRPF DG A.P. Maheshwari has gone on self-quarantine after indirect contact with a doctor who tested positive for Covid-19.

Officials said that a CRPF officer had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 31. All personnel in contact with the officer have been quarantined.

Maheshwari had an indirect contact with the officer. As per protocol, the DG is observing self-quarantine. He kept himself quarantined from Saturday but is working from home, according to officials.

The infected CRPF officer has been admitted to AIIMS, Jhajjar.

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Cities

Rajasthan Jamaat Impact: Doctor refuses to admit pregnant woman because she’s Muslim, her child dies after delivery

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Pregnancy Death

Jaipur, April 4 : A woman experiencing labour pain was allegedly refused admission into a government hospital by its staff citing her religion in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district.

The pregnant woman delivered the infant inside an ambulance, after leaving the hospital, but the child could not survive.

Irfan Khan, the husband, said, “My wife was referred from Sikri to the Janana hospital in the district headquarter, however doctors here asked us to go to Jaipur as we are Muslim. While on our way to Jaipur, my wife delivered the child but the baby passed away for which the administration is responsible.”

However, Dr Rupendra Jha, Principal, Janana hospital, Bharatpur, said, “This woman who came for delivery was critical and hence was referred to Jaipur. We shall further look into the matter.

Meanwhile, Vishvendra Singh, Rajasthan Tourism Minister, criticised the doctor’s act and tweeted, “Pregnant Muslim Woman was refused medical attention at the Zenana Hospital in #Bharatpur & was told to go to Jaipur given her religion. Local Bharatpur MLA is State Health Minister & this is the condition of the hospital in Bharatpur City. Shameful.”

He further tweeted, “The #Jamaat was/is a national disaster and hazard. But innocent Muslims suffering like this – is simply put – painful for us to see. The State Minister of Health is from Bharatpur – but still this happened.”

Meanwhile, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi also condemned the incident in a tweet, saying, “The staff must be tried & punished as common criminals & should receive exemplary punishmentA @ashokgehlot1. They are responsible for the death of an innocent woman. Should we now stop seeking healthcare? Anti-Muslim hate reaches new heights every day & is costing us our lives.”

Singh, however, said that action will be taken against the accused doctor in the matter.

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