Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday claimed that the Opposition’s “falsehoods” about the Citizenship Amendment Act had led to a situation of anarchy in India, PTI reported. Shah made the comments at an event in Gandhinagar, where he inaugurated various projects of the Gujarat Police.
The home minister reiterated that the Act does not take away citizenship from Indians, but gives it to persecuted minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. “The Opposition does not have any other issue, so they are spreading misinformation and falsehood on CAA,” he alleged. “This resulted in anarchy in the entire country.”
The home minister urged Bharatiya Janata Party workers to undertake door-to-door campaigns to make people understand the provisions of the citizenship Amendment Act. “We have the power to make people understand the truth,” he said. “I urge BJP workers to go to each home and make people understand the benefits of the Act. After our campaign is over, people of the country will understand the importance of the CAA.”
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11 and signed into law by President Ram Nath Kovind on December 13, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. The Centre notified it in its official gazette on Friday, making it applicable from January 10.
At least 26 people died in last month’s protests against the citizenship law. Of these, 19 died in Uttar Pradesh, five in Assam and two in Karnataka. The protests, which began at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, first spread to other prominent colleges, and then on to the streets. In Uttar Pradesh, the police were accused of using excessive force against the demonstrators, and even detaining and torturing minors.
In Northeastern states, demonstrators feel the Act will erode their ethnic identities by granting citizenship to foreigners on religious grounds.