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India implements new criminal laws, raising concerns among minority groups

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India implements new criminal laws, raising concerns among minority groups

On July 1st, India’s Modi government introduced new criminal laws: the “Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS)”, “Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam (BSA)”, and “Bharatiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS)”. Asaduddin Owaisi, President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, criticized these laws, asserting they would be used against Muslims, Dalits, and other marginalized groups. He argues that the laws expand police powers, potentially leading to misuse against vulnerable sections of society.

A Hyderabad Member of Parliament also condemned the laws, highlighting the lack of measures to address police misconduct and labeling them as more dangerous than the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). Since the Modi government took office, minorities in India, particularly Muslims, have reported feeling increasingly insecure. Anti-Muslim rhetoric has been a notable issue in recent elections, further raising concerns among minority communities.

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The new laws have sparked anxiety among minorities, including Muslims, Adivasis, and Dalits. Critics fear these laws could be weaponized against specific communities, while government supporters argue they are essential for maintaining law and order.