Abu Dhabi: Indian expatriates on Sunday submitted a memorandum to the Indian Embassy expressing concerns over the controversial citizenship act, a new Indian law that many claim is discriminatory on religious grounds.
As many as 30 people from the Indian community met with the officials at the embassy in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to voice their opposition with the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The community members contended that the newly passed law propagates a divisive society as it promises citizenship to followers of all religions, except Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Speaking to Gulf News after handing over the “Letter Of Opposition To CAA” Abdullah Khan, an Abu Dhabi resident, said, “I am worried about my family in India. I tried to call them in Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh but couldn’t go through as the communication lines and Internet were shut down after protests over CAA. The Indian community here decided to register its humble request to abolish the law which divides society where people of all religions otherwise live together peacefully.”
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The letter by the community requests the Indian authorities to strike down the “discriminatory, divisive and unconstitutional Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 passed and notified on December 12, 2019 by the Central Government of India.
The letter said the aim of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019, passed by the Government of India to grant citizenship for religious minorities specifically names only Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians fleeing persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and have been entered India before December 31, 2014, does not extend the same protection to Muslims, including minority sects.
Sanjay Manohar Pancha, an Abu Dhabi resident who also turned up at the embassy, said, “I would like that all people be given their equal due as per the Constitution of India, whether they are Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or Christians.”
Another resident who was at the embassy, Akhtar Ali, said, “The CAA is against our constitution and we demand it is scrapped immediately. People from all communities live together, so why is there such a division and exclusion of Muslims?” “When all communities in India reside peacefully, why is the government forcibly introducing this new law? When the public opposes any decision of the government, it should not forcibly impose it on them,” he added.
Requests by Gulf News for a comment from the Indian Embassy did not elicit an immediate response.