Friday, February 3, 2023

Seattle City Council passes resolution against CAA,NRC

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The  Seattle City Council, considered to be one of the power city councils in the United States,  passed a resolution against the contentious Citizenship(Amendment)Act and National Register of Citizens(NRC). Deeming the law as “discriminatory”, the council has become the first legislative body in the United States to pass a resolution against the law and the proposed NRC.

The measure states that “the Seattle City Council opposes the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship Amendment Act in India, and finds these policies to be discriminatory to Muslims, oppressed castes, women, indigenous, and LGBT people”.

The resolution was sponsored by an Indian-American council member, Kshama Sawant.

The resolution urges the Parliament of India to uphold the Indian constitution by nullifying the CAA, and to put a stop to the proposed NRC. The resolution also recommends the Indian state to take measures towards helping refugees by ratifying various UN treaties.

Massive protests have swept the country since the contentious law got approval of both the Houses of the parliament. The President’s assent was followed by agitations across the country. Student organisations, opposition parties and civil society came out in huge numbers. Over 18 people have been killed in Uttar Pradesh, four in Assam and two in Karnataka.

The law has been described as “unconstitutional” by opposition parties and Human Rights activists who claim that it allows non-Muslims from Muslim-majority Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to become Indian citizens if they fled religious persecution and entered India before December 31, 2014.

Several opposition parties had given notices in both the Houses seeking debate and answers on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), NRC and National Population Register (NPR).

The NRC, a process to identify undocumented immigrants, has already been implemented in Assam. Over 2 million people have been left out of the register.

The Union government is the past had said that National People’s Register would be the the first step towards a nationwide NRC, which generated controversy with the opposition parties claiming that the exercise will be linked to NRC. However, the government has now retracted from its earlier statement.

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