In an unprecedented move, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has filed an intervention application in India’s Supreme Court against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which has triggered some of the largest protests in the country.
In its statement, India’s Ministry of External Affairs has said, “the Citizenship Amendment Act is an internal matter of India and concerns the sovereign right of the Indian Parliament to make laws. We strongly believe that no foreign party has any locus standi on issues pertaining to India’s sovereignty.”
The government has clarified its position on the matter as it says, “the CAA is constitutionally valid and complies with all requirements of our constitutional values. It is reflective of our long-standing national commitment with respect to human rights issues arising from the tragedy of the Partition of India.”
“India is a democratic country governed by the rule of law. We all have utmost respect for and full trust in our independent judiciary. We are confident that our sound and legally sustainable position would be vindicated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”
The move comes after Delhi witnessed one of its worst riots last week which left over 45 people dead and more than 250 injured. The violence was triggered by protests against CAA seen by many critics as anti-Muslim and part of BJP government’s Hindu nationalist agenda, the city’s worst sectarian violence in decades.
Organization of Islamic Cooperation had condemned the Delhi riots and urged the Indian government “to bring the instigators and perpetrators of these acts of anti-Muslim violence to justice and to ensure the safety and security of all its Muslim citizens and the protection of Islamic holy places across the country.”
The #OIC calls on #Indian authorities to bring the instigators and perpetrators of these acts of anti-Muslim violence to justice and to ensure the safety and security of all its Muslim citizens and the protection of Islamic holy places across the country. #IndianMuslimsInDanger
— OIC (@OIC_OCI) February 27, 2020
However, BJP leaders like Kapil Mishra, Anurag Thakur who were seen giving hate speeches against anti-CAA protestors, still remain unapologetic. The Delhi High Court judge, Justice Muralidhar who directed the Delhi Police to file FIRs against leaders making hate speeches was transferred by the government last week.