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‘May create largest statelessness crisis’: Draft resolution on CAA in EU

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London, Jan 26: The European Union have drafted a five-page resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act, contending that the law for its negative consequences for India's internal stability and potential for creating a "statelessness crisis".

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The resolution, which is expected to be tabled during the plenary session of the European Parliament starting in Brussels next week -- comes days after the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked India 10 places lower in the Democracy Index, mentioning the citizenship law and the restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir after the government ended its special status.

There will also be a vote on the issue on January 30, according to the European Parliament.

"The CAA marks a dangerous shift in the way citizenship will be determined in India and is set to create the largest statelessness crisis in the world and cause immense human suffering," it notes.

"Instead of addressing the concerns, offering corrective action, calling for security forces to act with restraint and ensuring accountability, many government leaders have been engaging in efforts to discredit, rebuke and threaten the protesters," the resolution states.

The CAA came into force in India last December amid protests in India and around the world. The Indian government has stressed that the new Act does not deny any citizenship rights but has been brought in to protect the oppressed minorities of neighbouring countries and provide them with citizenship.

As background, the resolution sets out that since the May 2019 election, the government of India has "reinforced its nationalistic orientation" as it also makes a reference to the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, which removed the special constitutional status of the region.

The draft resolution, which falls under the category of "Resolutions on topical subjects", expresses deep concern that India has "created the legal grounds to strip millions of Muslims of the fundamental right of equal access to citizenship" and that the CAA could be used, along with the National Register of Citizens, to "render many Muslim citizens stateless".

It seeks to remind the Indian government of its obligations under the 1992 UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, which establishes the obligation of countries to protect the existence and identity of religious minorities within their territories and to adopt appropriate measures to ensure that this is achieved.

Such a resolution, which has been characterised under the "Relations with Asian countries" section by the economic bloc, are used as a basis for engagement of EU member countries with specific nations. If it is passed next week, it will be formally sent to the Indian government and Parliament as well as to the European Commission chiefs.

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