New Delhi, 13 Dec.2019: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and civil society leaders in a joint press conference today opposed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAB) and called it unconstitutional. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s Vice Presidents Mohammed Jafar and Muhammad Salim Engineer along with senior journalists Prashant Tandon and Anil Chamadia and President of All India Muslim Majlis e Mushawarat – Navaid Hamid addressed to the joint press conference which was organized by various social and civil society groups today to register their protest against the CAB, at the Press Club of India, New Delhi.
Jamaat’s Vice President Salim Engineer said: “Through the CAB, they want to give citizenship to six religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan except Muslims. We think that it is against the spirit of Constitution. It will take the country towards communal politics. We all are here to oppose the CAB, which has now become a law. We are not opposing citizenship to the six communities through this law. We are against exclusion of Muslims based on their religion. It is against the idea of India. CAB should be seen along with NRC. Only then, gravity of the picture will emerge. The Home Minister says that crores of people who do not have documents need not worry; they will get protection from this CAB. Does it mean that only Muslims should worry? It is dangerous that just for winning elections, they are doing divisive politics”.
JIH Vice President, Mohammad Jafar also denounced CAB saying: “We are concerned that both Houses of Parliament have passed this bill and got support not only from the ruling BJP but also from those parties who we thought will not support CAB. It seems they did not realize that CAB is divisive and destabilizing for the country. The Constitution of India does not allow discrimination based on religion. This bill violates Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution. There were already laws to resolve the issues of refugees but with communal mindset, this law was framed and Muslims were excluded. This attitude is violative of the Constitutional principles and harmful to the diversity of the country. We would be part of peaceful and democratic protests taking place throughout the country”.
Renowned journalist Anil Chamadia also expressed concern that just on the basis of majority, the ruling BJP is pushing anti-Constitution laws. “The ruling alliance is based on caste and religion engineering. They are bringing policies and claiming that country wants it. Parliament is being used for passage of anti-Constitution laws. They know constitutional validity of CAB is weak, yet with majority in Parliament, they went ahead and got it passed. More dangerous than anything is anti-Constitution culture of Parliament,” said Chamadia.
Addressing the press, Navaid Hamid, President, All India Muslim Majlise e Mushawarat, questioned the intention of the government behind the CAB. “Last time the bill was sent to select committee of Parliament for discussion. That panel had recommended citizenship to persecuted minorities but the government added religious minorities. CAB is against the idea of Vasudeva Kutumbkam. Christians are being persecuted in Bhutan. Why was that country not included? Myanmar refugees in Bangladesh include Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. Why has the government not included Myanmar? Why were Tamil Hindus not included in it? Their plan is not to bring Hindu migrants in. Their actual plan is divisive politics. Their divisive politics can work only with a bogey and they have presented Muslims as a bogey,” said Mr. Hamid.
Eminent journalist Prashant Tandon, who visited Assam just after the release of NRC list, questioned the working process of FTs. “Foreigners Tribunal in Assam is working in unprofessional way. They are deciding cases as per their will. Their decisions can be challenged only in High Court. Some FT heads were terminated because they did not declare many people as foreigners, while those judges who declared more people as foreigners were promoted. On 19th December we will be organizing peaceful protests against CAB all over India,” he said.
At the end of the press conference, Jamaat’s Salim Engineer said: “We will take the issue of CAB to people of the country. We will also discuss with legal experts to pursue it legally.” He also extended support to all peaceful protests against the controversial new law.