Bangladesh Information Minister Hasan Mahmud on Tuesday said that the Citizenship Amendment Act was India’s internal and legal matter, now that cases have been filed in the Supreme Court against the proposed law, ANI reported.
The Act provides citizenship to refugees from six non-Muslim religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the condition that they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.
Over 200 petitions have been filed before the Supreme Court against the contentious Act. The petitioners argue that it promotes religion-based discrimination and violates Article 14 of the Constitution, which deals with equality before the law.
The court will start hearing the petitions on December 6.
On Monday, Mahmud spoke about the law at a news conference organised by the Press Club of India.
At the event, he also reiterated Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s comments that those who follow Hinduism in Bangladesh should not be regarded as a minority community as they belong to the mainstream of the country, The Hindu reported.
“According to our Constitution, everybody has equal rights,” he said. “But there are some fanatical groups both in India and Bangladesh that try to ignite fanaticism and try to destabilise the harmony across religious groups.”
The Bangladesh government, he added, has supported Hindus and they are in a good position, ANI reported. The ruling party members are keeping a close watch to avoid a repeat of last year’s vandalism, Mahmud added.
In October 2021, Bangladesh witnessed a spell of violence against Hindus following social media posts about the alleged desecration of the Quran in a Durga Puja pandal in the Comilla district. At least seven persons were killed and 41 arrested after communal violence sparked off across the country.
The United Nations had criticised the attacks on Hindus and Amnesty International had said that the violence was symptomatic of a “growing anti-minority sentiment in the country”.