CAA: Human rights not based on religion, says People’s Conference chief Sajad Lone

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Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference chief Sajad Lone on Thursday called the Citizenship Amendment Act “discriminatory” and said human rights are not based on religion.

“I think it is discriminatory. Human rights are based on human beings, not religion. Any human being can have a feeling of being persecuted and I do not think persecution should be defined by religion. Persecution should be defined by persecution,” Lone told reporters in Srinagar.

The Centre on Monday announced implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, paving the way for granting citizenship to undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014.

The rules were notified days ahead of the expected announcement of the Lok Sabha elections. With this, the Narendra Modi government will now start granting Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants — Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians — from the three countries.

Commenting on alleged cracks in the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, which the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference was once a member of, Lone said the alliance was not about people but “their own relevance”.

“I understood it two years back that this is not an alliance for the people, it is an alliance to make themselves relevant. They are arrogant people, look at the way they are talking. Their statements on seat sharing reek of arrogance,” he said, without naming anyone.

Lone will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from the Baramulla constituency.

Asked if the party will field candidates from the remaining two seats — Srinagar and Anantnag-Rajouri — in the Valley, Lone said a decision will be taken in due course.

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