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US Senator Ben Cardin ‘deeply concerned’ about impact of CAA implementation on Muslims in India

An influential US lawmaker has voiced apprehension regarding the Indian government’s issuance of rules for enforcing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), stating that it is vital for cooperation between Washington and New Delhi to be rooted in shared values of safeguarding human rights irrespective of religion.

“I am deeply concerned by the Indian government’s decision to notify its controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, particularly the law’s potential ramifications on India’s Muslim community. Making matters worse is that it is being pushed during the holy month of Ramadan,” stated Senator Ben Cardin, the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman.

“As the US-India relationship deepens, it is critically important that our cooperation is based on our shared values of protecting the human rights of all persons, regardless of religion,” he continued.

The lawmaker’s remarks coincide with Hindu American groups’ endorsement of the rollout of CAA.

Last week, the US State Department voiced concerns over the notification of CAA. Spokesperson Matthew Miller said the Biden administration would be closely monitoring the implementation of the contentious law.

Miller said, “Respect for religious freedom and equal treatment under the law for all communities are fundamental democratic principles.”

India promptly criticized the US State Department‘s critique of the CAA as “misinformed and unwarranted.”

The Centre implemented the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 last week, facilitating citizenship for undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who arrived in India before December 31, 2014.

Additionally, the government issued a press statement asserting that Indian Muslims need not fear as the CAA will not affect their citizenship and is unrelated to the community, which enjoys equal rights as Hindus.

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