The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) staged massive protests in various cities across India against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, that was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday.
Terming the bill as communal and in sharp contravention to the fundamental rights guaranteed in Article 14, members of SDPI burnt the copies of the bill.
“The government has a clear agenda to implement fascist ideology and render the Muslim community to second class citizens. They are taking steps to create a Hindu Rashtra through constitutional means bypassing all democratic values,” said advocate Sharfuddin Ahmed, national vice-president of SDPI.
“Why is the government granting citizenship to the Hindu refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who are already living in India as refugees. Why are the persecuted minorities from Myanmar and Sri Lanka are not included in the bill,” asked Dr. Tasleem Rehmani, National Secretary of SDPI.
In Madurai, members of SDPI took out a procession from Periyar bus stand to the Madurai Junction railway station, despite efforts by the city police to stop them.
In Chennai and Bengaluru, the protestors raised slogans saying that the Constitution does not discriminate anyone by religion and that everyone should be treated with equality. SDPI said that the BJP government at the Centre has gone against the principles of the Constitution and has openly discriminated people on religious grounds by passing the amendment.
They demanded that Rohingya Muslims and Sri Lankan Tamils too should be granted citizenship.
Around 60 SDPI members including nine women were detained and released later in the day.