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India’s Supreme Court to hear pleas challenging citizenship law

India’s Supreme Court is set to hear appeals filed against a new citizenship law that has sparked widespread opposition and protests across the country.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde will hear over 140 petitions on Wednesday, which seek to examine the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The top court had said earlier that it would hear the challenges to the law “once the violence stops”, referring to incidents of violence during the protests.

Nearly 30 people across the country have been killed in the protests amid allegations of police brutality.

Critics say the law passed in December is discriminatory to Muslims – India’s largest minority – as it makes faith the basis for obtaining citizenship.

The Bharatiya Janata Party government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the law aims to give persecuted minorities from three neighbouring countries the right to apply for citizenship.

The legislation has provoked weeks of protests, with critics calling it discriminatory and unconstitutional as it excludes Muslims from these countries.

Home Minister Amit Shah, a close aide of Modi, has ruled out rollback of the law.

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