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PM made it clear that country won’t budge: official sources

Dissent continues: An anti-CAA protester being detained near the U.P. Bhavan in New Delhi on Thursday. Bibek Chettri

Days before U.S. President Donald Trump is due in India, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a fact sheet on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

“There are serious concerns that the CAA serves as a protective measure for non-Muslims in case of exclusion from a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC),” the USCIRF says. “This purpose is evident from BJP politicians’ rhetoric. With the CAA in place, Muslims would primarily bear the punitive consequences of exclusion from the NRC which could include ‘statelessness, deportation, or prolonged detention,’ according to three United Nations Special Rapporteurs.”

However, official sources in New Delhi said the new citizenship law was an internal matter that would stay. “CAA is a done deal. It’s not going to change. The Prime Minister has also made it clear that India will not budge an inch on this issue,” said the source in response to USCIRF’s comments on the CAA and the NRC.

On the possibilities that Mr. Trump might raise uncomfortable issues like mediation during visit, an official spokesperson said, “On all these issues our position is well known to the U.S. side. Time and again we have communicated with them — the State Department, the White House and the Congress — about our sensitivities. Our position is well known and we hope that things will go on smoothly during the visit. And, we don’t see any such problem.”

(With inputs from

Kallol Bhattacherjee)

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The foundation was in trouble earlier due to charges of tax evasion

The Union government has granted Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence this year to more than 20 non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including the A.R. Rahman Foundation, run by the Academy award-winning composer and his family.

Any NGO or association that intends to receive foreign funds has to compulsorily register under the FCRA, monitored by the Union Home Ministry.

After the Modi government came to power in 2014, the FCRA licences of more than 16,000 NGOs were cancelled on account of various violations.

The Rahman Foundation had run into trouble with the authorities when it allegedly received money from a U.K.-based mobile phone company in 2015. The income tax authorities had accused Mr. Rahman of evading tax and getting the money transferred to a bank account linked to the Trust that was not registered under the FCRA. Mr. Rahman and his auditor had contested the claims.

The Ministry said the Foundation had been registered for “cultural, social and educational” purposes under the FCRA.

Under the 2010 Act, registered NGOs can receive foreign contribution for five purposes — social, educational, religious, economic and cultural. This year, only the Vadodara-based Madrasa Muhammadiyah Baccho ka Ghar has been registered under the “religious (Muslim), cultural, educational” category.

A total of 21 other associations were also registered under the FCRA this year, most in the “social and economic” category.

In 2017, 2018 and 2019, the number of new FCRA registrations stood at 1012, 521 and 683, respectively.

The Ministry informed Parliament last year that more than 5,804 NGOs were registered for “religious purpose” under the Act.

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