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PM on CAA, NRC: Don’t understand why India did this

  • Published at 02:00 pm January 19th, 2020
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina
File photo: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaks at the inauguration of the 7th National Congress of Bangladesh Jubo League on Saturday, November 23, 2019 Focus Bangla

Sheikh Hasina said she does not understand the purpose of the CAA

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) are India's internal matter.

Many Bangladeshi analysts expressed fears that Indian Muslims, unable to prove their citizenship claims, will seek shelter in Bangladesh.

“Bangladesh has always maintained that the CAA and NRC are internal matters of India. The Indian Government, on their part, has also repeatedly maintained that the NRC is an internal exercise of India and Prime Minister Modi assured me in person of the same during my visit to New Delhi in October 2019,” she told Gulf News during an interview in Abu Dhabi, capital of United Arab Emirates.

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Sheikh Hasina said she did not understand the purpose of the CAA passed in India which aims to offer citizenship to non-Muslim minorities who faced persecution in Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries.

“We do not understand why they [the Indian government] did it. It was not necessary,” she added. 

Bangladesh, where 10.7% of the 161 million people are Hindu and 0.6% Buddhist, has denied any migration to India following religious persecution.

The premier also said there has been no record of reverse migration from India. 

Demonstrators shout slogans and hold placards as they arrive at the venue of a protest against a new citizenship law, in Mumbai, India December 19, 2019 | Reuters“No, there is no reverse migration from India. But within India, people are facing many problems,” she added.

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by the Parliament of India on December 11, 2019, aims to fast-track citizenship for persecuted Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Christians who arrived in India before December 31, 2014, from Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is the long-delayed culmination of the anti-foreigners movement in Assam which led to the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985. Under the accord, those who entered Assam after March 24, 1971, would be declared foreigners and be deported. 

Protests and violence have erupted across India since the enactment of the CAA and declarations by the Indian government that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be carried out nationwide.

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