Union Home Minister Amit Shah has cancelled his visit to two Northeastern states – Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh – on Sunday and Monday next, officials said. The cancellation comes amidst widespread protests in Assam and Meghalaya against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.
The home minister’s visit to the Northeast has been cancelled, a home ministry official said, without citing any reason.
US says it’s closely watching the situation
Meanwhile, the US said it was closely following the developments after India amended its citizenship law. A senior official said Washington had New Delhi to protect the rights of its religious minorities in keeping with the country’s Constitution and democratic values.
“We are closely following developments regarding the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Respect for religious freedom and equal treatment under the law are fundamental principles of our two democracies,” a State Department spokesperson said on Thursday.
“The US urges India to protect the rights of its religious minorities in keeping with India, Constitution and democratic values,” the spokesperson said.
The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi has said the new law provides expedited consideration for Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities already in India from certain contiguous countries.
It asserted that every nation has the right to enumerate and validate its citizenry, and to exercise the prerogative through various policies.
Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and parts of Arunachal Pradesh have been witnessing large -scale protests in the last two days with thousands of people hitting the streets defying prohibitory orders to demand scrapping of the contentious law.