Thousands protest Indian citizenship bill excluding Muslims
GAUHATI, India (AP) — More than 1,000 students marched Friday in India’s northeast against a bill approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from India’s three Muslim-majority neighbors.
The marchers took to the streets of Gauhati, the Assam state capital, carrying placards opposing the bill that’s likely to be introduced in Parliament next week for approval.
A large number of migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan live in the state.
Main opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi said Thursday the bill was discriminatory as it aimed at excluding Muslim migrants. It will entitle only communities like Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians for India’s citizenship.
The proposed bill seeks to relax to six years the existing 11-year requirement that a person must live in India to apply for citizenship.