Jeremy Lawrence, a spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the United Nations is concerned about the new Citizenship Act 2019 in India which is "fundamental discrimination" in nature.
The spokesman said in a statement issued by Lawrence from Geneva that the amended legislation seeks to accelerate the granting of nationality to minorities, and specifically calls for - Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jain community members, Persians and Christians - fleeing persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who were residents before 2014, but does not give the same protection For Muslims.
He added that the amended law undermines the commitment to equality before the law stipulated in the constitution and state obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, to which India is a state party.
The UN spokesman said that although wider naturalization laws are still in force in India, the amendments have a discriminatory effect on people's access to citizenship.
At the conclusion of the statement, Lawrence expressed his concern after the death of two people and the injury of many, including policemen, in the states of Assam and Tripura while people protested against the law. He called on the authorities to respect the right to peaceful assembly and adhere to international standards related to the use of force when responding to protests.
In a related context, clashes erupted in the capital between students and members of the police over the divisive citizenship law.
Hundreds of students gathered in the capital to protest the new law. For its part, the police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse the crowd.