The Madhya Pradesh Police on Sunday detained 80 people for trying to wave black flags at Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Jabalpur city, PTI reported.
The 80 activists, mostly belonging to the Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India, were released after legal formalities, Additional Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Kumar said. They were taken into custody from ten different areas of the city.
Shah addressed a rally in Jabalpur on Sunday in support of the amended Citizenship Act. He said the central government “will not rest” until undocumented migrants from persecuted communities from the three neighbouring communities were given citizenship. He also accused Opposition party leaders of misleading the public on the Citizenship Amendment Act, and challenged them to prove that the law can take away anyone’s citizenship.
“You Congress leaders, listen carefully...oppose it as much as you can, but we will rest only after giving citizenship to all these people,” Shah said. “Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Christian refugees from Pakistan have as much right over India as you and I. They are the sons and daughters of India. The country will embrace them.”
Shah reiterated his earlier claim that there was no provision to take away citizenship in the amended citizenship law and it was meant for providing it.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, notified on January 10, 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. At least 26 people died in huge protests against the legislation last month.
The Congress, several other Opposition parties, and a few of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s allies have opposed the Act saying that it has the potential to exclude a large number of members of the Muslim community when clubbed with the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register.
The population register is linked to the Census, due in 2021, and is a list of “usual residents” in the country. However, it has also been linked to the NRC – a proposed nationwide exercise to identify undocumented migrants and differentiate them from citizens of India. The Census of India website has described the NPR as “the first step towards the creation of a NRC”.