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US Commission seeks sanctions against Amit Shah on Citizenship Amendment Bill

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Amit Shah

Washington, Dec 10: The US Commission for International Religious Freedom or USCIRF freedom has claimed that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is a “dangerous turn in wrong direction” and sought American sanctions against Home Minister Amit Shah if the bill is passed by both houses of Parliament.
According to the proposed legislation, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014 facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

“If the CAB passes in both houses of Parliament, the US government should consider sanctions against the Home Minister Amit Shah and other principal leadership,” the commission suggested.

“USCIRF is ‘deeply troubled’ by the passage of the CAB, originally introduced by Home Minister Shah, in the Lok Sabha given the religion criterion in the bill,” it added.

Amit Shah on Monday introduced the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha, where it was passed with 311 members favouring it and 80 voting against it, will now be tabled in the Rajya Sabha for its nod.

Shah asserted that the bill has the “endorsement of 130 crore Indian citizens” and rejected suggestions that the measure is anti-Muslims, saying it will give rights to persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

USCIRF alleged that the CAB enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excludes Muslims, setting a legal criterion for citizenship based on religion.

“The CAB is a dangerous turn in the wrong direction; it runs counter to India’s rich history of secular pluralism and the Indian Constitution, which guarantees equality before the law regardless of faith,” it said.

The commission alleged that the “USCIRF fears that the Indian government is creating a religious test for Indian citizenship that would strip citizenship from millions of Muslims”.

India

ED asks PFI, sister groups to join money laundering probe

After violent protests over the CAA and the NRC in UP last month, the state police sought a ban on the PFI, suspecting its complicity with the stir. Nearly 20 people were killed in these protests in UP.

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Enforcement Directorate

New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has served notices to nine organisations, including Popular Front of India (PFI) and its sister groups located in Delhi, particularly in Shaheen Bagh, to join the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) probe.

Notices have also been served to the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) — PFI’s political front– the National Confederation of Human Rights and the Rehab Indian Foundation.

It has been alleged the PFI sponsored protests over the new citizenship law (CAA) and also indulged into money laundering.

The agency, which is probing the PFI under the PMLA since 2018, has found that Rs 120 crore was deposited in bank accounts in western UP after the CAA was passed by Parliament last year.

The ED source said it was suspected that the funds were used by the PFI affiliates to fuel protests over the CAA in various parts of the country. The agency claimed to have identified the PFI’s 73 bank accounts and money trail Rs 120 crore for the anti-CAA and anti-NRC agitation.

The bank accounts with huge transactions were detected in the last two months, sources said. “The ED has been keeping a close tab on the 27 bank accounts of PFI, nine bank accounts of RFI, 37 individuals and entities in 17 different banks,” said an official.

“During the probe it was found the money transfer into these accounts were either done by cash deposit or NEFT/RTGS/IMPS. The amounts were withdrawn on the same day or within two-three days, leaving behind only minimal amount,” the source said.

According to the source, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal received Rs 77 lakh, lawyer Indira Jaising Rs 4 lakh, senior advocate Dushyant Dave Rs 11 lakh and Abdul Samad Rs 3.10 lakh.

After violent protests over the CAA and the NRC in UP last month, the state police sought a ban on the PFI, suspecting its complicity with the stir. Nearly 20 people were killed in these protests in UP.

An FIR by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and chargesheet against the PFI formed the basis for the ED to file a PMLA case against it. The PFI was formed in 2006 in Kerala as a successor to the National Democratic Front (NDF).

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India

Mamata takes up paint brush to protest against CAA-NRC-NPR

The letters ‘N’ and ‘O’, implying ‘NO’, depicted the woman’s two eyeballs.

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Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata, Jan 28: Using art as a medium of protest against CAA, NPR and NRC, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday took up the paint brush at a Trinamool Congress demonstration where a number of painters close to her had assembled.

Banerjee drew the face of a protesting woman, with NRC (National Register of Citizens), CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and NPR (National Population Register) written all around on the visage.

The letters ‘N’ and ‘O’, implying ‘NO’, depicted the woman’s two eyeballs.

Several other artists also made use of the canvas to drive home a message of the country’s fundamental feature of unity in diversity.

“We will preserve our colourful culture and unity in diversity. We don’t want division. We want a united India,” said the Trinamool Congress chief, calling the protest through art as a unique form of railing against the triple issues of NRC, CAA and NPR.

“The message is that we don’t support NRC, NPR and CAA. The three are a shame for civilisation and our culture. This silent protest by artists will be an example for the entire country,” she said.

Banerjee said the protest was being held near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi because the Father of the Nation fought for a united India.

“We don’t believe in the politics of hatred,” she said.

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Election

NRI woman moves Supreme Court alleging corruption 2019 Lok Sabha polls

The petitioner said she had come from a foreign country to pursue this matter and insisted by moving the high court she might not get justice.

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Supreme Court

New Delhi, Jan 28 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed a non-resident Indian (NRI) petitioner who moved the court alleging corruption in 2019 General Elections to go to the high court.

The woman, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), had filed the plea before a Bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant. It allowed her to withdraw the plea.

“Why have you not gone to the high court, and also why is this petition under Article 32,” it asked.

The petitioner contended there was corruption in the elections and as a consequence the people were cheated. She also submitted that earlier orders of the top court were not complied.

The Bench said the high court could take cognizance of the top court order. “You can withdraw this petition and go to the high court,” it said.

The petitioner said she had come from a foreign country to pursue this matter and insisted by moving the high court she might not get justice.

The top court declined to entertain her plea and reiterated that she should move the high court. “Because you are from abroad, it doesn’t mean you will not get justice,” said the court emphasising on the process of law.

When the woman insisted that she had proof to place on record that the people were cheated in the last General Elections, the bench said, “You don’t represent the people of India, and you don’t even live in this country.

To this the woman replied her parents lived here. The court asked her to consult senior advocate Sanjay Parekh.

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