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‘Not Religiously Persecuted’: Amit Shah on Why Muslims Excluded from Citizenship Bill

The Home Minister had earlier said BJP will 'throw out all infiltrators one by one' by enforcing the NRC, while simultaneously clarifying that it non-Muslims need to worry because they will be accorded Indian citizenship.

News18.com

Updated:October 17, 2019, 5:30 PM IST
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‘Not Religiously Persecuted’: Amit Shah on Why Muslims Excluded from Citizenship Bill
BJP President and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during his interview with News18. (Image: News18)

New Delhi: Clarifying his stand on the Citizenship Amendment Bill, BJP president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah says only “minorities” fleeing neighbouring countries “to save their lives” can be deemed as refugees eligible for asylum in India.

In an exclusive interview to News18 Network Group Editor-in-chief Rahul Joshi, Shah explained his government’s stand to offer citizenship to only Hindus, Christians, Buddhists and Jains, but not Muslims.

“The reason is if minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh come here to save their lives they are refugees and not illegal immigrants. If someone comes here to earn livelihood or to disrupt law and order, then they are intruders,” Shah said in response to a question on why the offer does not hold good for Muslims.

Shah said that by his clarification on the definition of illegal immigrants, he does not mean that Muslims are intruders. But "it is not possible for them to be religiously persecuted", said Shah, reasoning why they aren't being offered citizenship in the proposed Bill.

Shah's clarification comes after his statement at at a recent rally in Kolkata that Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist and Christian refugees will be safe in the country and will not be asked to leave despite NRC sparked a major controversy for excluding Muslims.

Shah had declared that the party will “throw out all infiltrators one by one” by enforcing the NRC, while simultaneously clarifying that it non-Muslims need to worry because they will be accorded Indian citizenship beforehand with the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill has become the centre of much controversy ever since it was introduced in 2016, sparking protests across the country, especially in North East states. The Home Minister has announced at rallies across the country that his party is committed to bringing the Bill back to Parliament in the next session.

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