Large scale communal violence in northeast Delhi last week has claimed 46 lives and injured over 200 people
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has filed an intervention application in India’s Supreme Court over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the country’s Ministry of External Affairs said yesterday.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the citizenship law is an internal matter of India, adding that it concerns the sovereign right of the Indian parliament to make laws. “We strongly believe that no foreign party has any locus standi on issues pertaining to India’s sovereignty,” he added.
Kumar maintained that the amended citizenship law is constitutionally valid and complies with all requirements of the country’s constitutional values.
“It is reflective of our long standing national commitment in respect of human rights issues arising from the tragedy of the Partition of India,” the spokesperson said.
On February 27, Bachelet had expressed “great concern” over the CAA and reports of police inaction during the violence in Delhi.
Lawmakers scuffle over CAA
On Monday, Indian lawmakers pushed and shoved each other in the parliament after opposition parties demanded the resignation of interior minister Amit Shah over the handling of deadly riots.
Opposition legislators shouted slogans and waved posters demanding that Shah, who controls Delhi's police and is an key ally of India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi's, step down.
122 homes, 301 vehicles damaged
At least 122 houses, 322 shops and 301 vehicles were gutted or completely damaged during the violence, according to an interim report prepared by the northeast Delhi district administration.
Officials said, the interim report was prepared on the basis of inputs shared by 18 teams led by sub-divisional magistrates till Sunday morning.
Mamata continues attack on BJP
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee continued to attack the right wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led federal government, targeting them for the riots in Delhi and the controversy around the amended citizenship act.
After an initial silence over the Delhi clashes, Mamata took a jibe at the BJP on Monday, a day after Union home minister Shah stung her Trinamool Congress (TMC)-led state government on issued related to law and order during a public meeting in Kolkata.
“What happened in Delhi will never happen in Bengal,” Mamata said while addressing a public gathering in North Dinajpur district in the northern part of the state.
“We don’t want Delhi, we don’t want UP (Uttar Pradesh). You people burn down houses and destroy everything,” Mamata added.
Large scale communal violence in northeast Delhi last week has claimed 47 lives and injured over 200 people. It had started with clashes between supporters of the controversial law and those who opposed it.
Protests against the CAA are continuing across the country, more than a month after it was passed in Indian parliament.
The amendments, notified on January 10, provide citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticized for excluding Muslims.