India passes contentious citizenship bill amid violent protests.

 
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GUWAHATI -- India s parliament Wednesday passed a contentious bill that seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from some countries, as hundreds of troops were deployed in the northeast which has been hit by violent protests. The bill will let the Indian government grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants who entered India from three neighbouring countries before 2015 -- but not if they are Muslim. The legislation was passed 125-105 by the upper house after the lower house voted in support of it just after midnight on Tuesday. It will be sent to the president to be signed into law, with his approval seen as a formality. "A landmark day for India and our nation s ethos of compassion and brotherhood!," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. "This Bill will alleviate the suffering of many who faced persecution for years." Opponents of the legislation have threatened to challenge it in the Supreme Court,

saying it violates the principles of equality and secularism enshrined in the constitution. For Islamic groups, the opposition, rights groups and others this is part of Modi s Hindu-nationalist agenda to marginalise India s 200 million Muslims -- something he denies. Besides stoking concern...

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