Citizenship Bill: Religious criterion undermines democratic tenet of pluralism, says US House panel

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the United States House of Representatives on Tuesday reacted to news reports about the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha of Indian Parliament, saying any religious test for citizenship undermines the basic democratic tenet of religious pluralism.

Pakistan says Citizenship Bill is expansionist, a step towards making India a Hindu nation

Pakistan on Tuesday claimed that India’s Citizenship Amendment Bill was a step towards realising the concept of a Hindu nation. Prime Minister Imran Khan said the proposed amendments were expansionist in nature.

BHU Muslim professor changes department after protests against his appointment to Sanskrit wing

A Muslim professor of Sanskrit at the Banaras Hindu University had to change his department on Monday after facing month-long protests by students due to his religion. Firoz Khan resigned from the Sanskrit Vidya Dharma Vijnan department and will now teach the language at the Arts faculty.

Citizenship Bill: Writers and scholars warn of ‘untold suffering’ and irreparable damage to India

A group of 625 civil society members demanded the withdrawal of the Citizenship Amendment Bill on Monday, claiming it will fundamentally alter the character of the Indian republic. They said the bill’s “blatant exclusion of a community” was discriminatory and divisive, and in violation of the Constitution’s secular principles.

Citizenship Bill: Now, Uddhav Thackeray says Sena won’t back draft law unless ‘things are clear’

Shiv Sena president and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said his party would not support the Citizenship Amendment Bill unless “things are clear”, ANI reported. On Monday, the Shiv Sena had voted in favour of the Bill in the Lok Sabha, hours after opposing it both in the House and in an article in its mouthpiece Saamana.

Citizenship Bill: EU envoy hopes Indian Constitution’s principle of equality will be upheld

European Union’s Ambassador to India Ugo Astuto on Tuesday said the principle of equality was enshrined in the Indian Constitution, and hoped that “it will be upheld”. The envoy was reacting to the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday. The Bill was discussed for over seven hours, and is expected to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday afternoon.

J&K: Detention order of NRI businessman Mubeen Shah revoked permanently

The Jammu and Kashmir administration told the Supreme Court on Monday that on December 7 it had permanently revoked an order detaining NRI businessman Mubeen Shah, PTI reported. The order was issued after provisions of Article 370 were scrapped on August 5 to strip the region of its special constitutional status.

Citizenship Bill: US panel that sought sanctions against Amit Shah ‘guided by prejudices’, says MEA

India on Tuesday strongly criticised the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, or USCIRF, for its comments on the Citizenship Bill saying that the statement was “neither accurate nor warranted”. The commission on Monday had said that it was “deeply troubled” by the bill’s passage in the Lok Sabha and sought sanctions against Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other principal leadership if it is passed in the Rajya Sabha.

Citizenship Bill sparks rift in JD(U), Pavan Varma says Gandhi would have disapproved of amendments

The Janata Dal (United)’s decision to support the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, in Parliament has sparked a rift in the party. Former MP and the party’s National General Secretary Pavan Varma on Tuesday urged JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar to reconsider support for the proposed amendments. “The Bill is unconstitutional, discriminatory, and against the unity and harmony of the country, apart from being against the secular principles of the JD(U). Gandhi ji would have strongly disapproved it,” Varma said.

Citizenship Amendment Bill is an attack on Constitution, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday criticised the Narendra Modi-led government for pushing the Citizenship Amendment Bill through the Lok Sabha the day before, calling it “an attack on the Indian Constitution”. “Anyone who supports it is attacking and attempting to destroy the foundation of our nation,” Gandhi tweeted.

Haryana: Dalit girl smeared with black ink and paraded around school, teacher booked

A nine-year-old Dalit girl in Haryana’s Hisar district was paraded around her school last week with her face smeared with black ink for scoring low marks in an exam. The incident occured on December 6, when the Class 4 student’s teacher blackened her face for failing to score the minimum eight marks required in an English exam.

Former IAS officers, activists call for civil disobedience against Citizenship Bill and NRC

Several activists have urged Indians to begin a civil disobedience movement to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the National Register of Citizens in Assam. After over seven hours of heated debate on Monday, the Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019. The bill, which explicitly excludes Muslims from three neighbouring countries from applying for Indian citizenship, is expected to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Parliament: J&K administration will decide on release of political leaders, says Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday claimed in the Lok Sabha that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir was completely normal, and said the detained political leaders will be released as soon as the administration decides to do so. He attacked Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, and said his definition of normalcy hinges on political activity.

Citizenship Bill: Former judges say ‘classification on religion, language not reasonable’

Several former judges and legal experts on Tuesday weighed in on the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha. After more than seven hours of heated debate on Monday, the bill was passed by a division of votes with 311 in favour and 80 against it.

BHU professor allegedly attacked by students for supporting Muslim colleague’s appointment

A Sanskrit professor at the Banaras Hindu University was allegedly attacked by students on Monday for supporting the appointment of Muslim professor Firoz Khan. Khan’s appointment had led to weeks-long protest in November after students demanded his transfer to another department because of his religion.

Jharkhand: CRPF constable kills two seniors, injures another in Bokaro

A Central Reserve Police Force constable on Monday shot dead two seniors and injured another in Jharkhand’s Bokaro. The constable was also injured in the incident.

Tata Steel extends its HR benefits to partners of LGBTQ+ employees

Indian steelmaker Tata Steel on Monday announced a new human resource policy that allows its employees from the LGBTQ+ community to add their partners for the benefits permissible under the law. The company clarified that partners would mean “people of same-sex living like a married couple”.

‘What a sham’: How newspapers reported the passage of Citizenship Bill

The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill after over seven hours of debate, with 311 voting in its support and 80 against it. The bill seeks to give citizenship to refugees from the Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh and Zoroastrian communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Citizenship Amendment Bill: 11-hour shutdown underway in North East today

An 11-hour shutdown called by the North East Students’ Organisation, an umbrella body of students’ organisations, to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill was underway in the North East on Tuesday. The strike began at 5 am and will go on till 4 pm.

‘Dangerous turn’: US commission seeks sanctions against Amit Shah over Citizenship Bill

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, or USCIRF, on Monday said it was “deeply troubled” by the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Lok Sabha and sought sanctions against Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other principal leadership if it is passed by the Rajya Sabha.

In a statement, the commission said the bill was “a dangerous turn in the wrong direction”, pointing that the legislation uses religion as a legal criterion to grant citizenship.

India climbs one spot to 129 on UNDP’s Human Development Index, despite worsening gender inequality

The United Nations Development Programme has ranked India 129 among 189 nations on the 2019 Human Development Index, one spot above from its position in last year’s report.

The index monitors nations’ long-term progress and considers factors such as their citizens’ ability to lead a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.

‘Citizenship Bill in line with India’s assimilation, humanitarian values,’ says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said he was delighted after the Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill. The prime minister said the bill was in line with India’s centuries old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values.

“Delighted that the Lok Sabha has passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, after a rich and extensive debate,” Modi tweeted. “I thank the various MPs and parties that supported the bill.”

‘Hats off’: Jaganmohan Reddy praises Telangana CM, police for Hyderabad encounter

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy on Monday praised his Telangana counterpart for the police encounter in which four men accused of allegedly raping and killing a woman veterinarian were killed, reported PTI. “Hats off to KCR and Telangana police officers, the way it happened,” said Reddy. The chief minister said there was nothing wrong with the police encounter.

Lok Sabha passes Citizenship Amendment Bill

The Lok Sabha late on Monday passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, after a bitter debate, which saw the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress invoking Partition, and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi tearing up a copy of the legislation. The Opposition vehemently claimed the bill was unconstitutional and discriminated against Muslims, but the Centre denied it was so.

Citizenship Bill: Asaduddin Owaisi tears up copy in Lok Sabha, says it will cause another Partition

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday said that the Citizenship Amendment Bill is “even worse than [German dictator] Adolf Hitler’s laws”. Following a fiery speech in the Lok Sabha during a debate on the bill, Owaisi tore up a copy of the bill, calling it unconstitutional.

Jaipur: Several cinemas stop screening ‘Panipat’ after protests over Maharaja Surajmal’s portrayal

Several theatres in Jaipur on Monday stopped screening the movie Panipat due to criticism by Jat groups that the film portrays Bharatpur’s Maharaja Surajmal negatively, PTI reported. Protests were organised in some cities of Rajasthan against the movie.

The management of some cinemas said the screenings were stopped on the orders of the Jaipur administration, and will resume only after further instructions.