The Modi government was condemned by Congress lawmaker Sashi Tharoor after the bill to amend the Protection of Human Rights Act was introduced in the Lok Sabha. Claiming that 57 people in Assam have committed suicide after being barred from the NRC list, Mr. Tharoor raised the issue of National Register of Citizens (NRC).

“I have received a confirmed list of people where 57 people have committed suicide because NRC has excluded them, ironically, few of these people are Hindus,” he said.

The Congress leader attacked the central government on the recent arrests of lawyers Indira Jaisingh and Anand Grover and termed the bill “piecemeal” and “cosmetic”.

Mr. Tharoor further claimed “It is ironic that we are speaking about strengthening the Human Rights act just days after the international commission of jurists condemned the attempt of this government to strike down of two of the most well known human rights defenders of the country, two senior advocates, Indira Jaisingh and Anand Grover who have been at the forefront of defending the rights of vulnerable sections of the society.”

He also criticized the arrest of activist Sudha Bharadwaj last year, accusing the government of letting willful defaulters flee while pursuing the arrest of the activist. “When Harvard Law School was honouring Human Rights Lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, our government was busy arresting her. While the government did nothing to stop willful defaulters from fleeing country, they were desperate to offload an activist from the plane only to be rapped by the Delhi High Court,” he said.

The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced by Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai for the consideration in Lower House in today’s parliament proceedings.

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