A Right to Information application filed in Kerala has sought to know if Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an Indian citizen, PTI reported on Friday.
A resident of Thrissur district’s Chalakudy town, identified as Josh Kalluveettil, filed the application with the public information officer of the municipality on January 13. Kalluveettil has sought documents that prove Modi’s citizenship, ANI reported.
Reports of this RTI query came amid nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register.
The Citizenship Amendment Act 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. Twenty-six people died in last month’s protests against the law – all in the BJP-ruled states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Assam.
The BJP has refused to cede ground to the protestors, who have demanded a rollback of all three of the government’s moves. The citizens’ register is a proposed nationwide exercise to identify undocumented immigrants, and the government’s critics fear that since a religion criteria has now been added to the Citizenship Act, only Muslims will be disproportionately affected by NRC. The National Population Register is the first step towards NRC. A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court asking the government to explain the link between the two.
Modi has lashed out at protestors and Opposition parties for taking to the streets against the citizenship law. At an event near Kolkata earlier this week, the prime minister accused the Opposition of spreading misinformation, and claimed the legislation would not revoked anyone’s citizenship. “I repeat again, Citizenship Act is not to revoke anyone’s citizenship, but it is to give citizenship,” he told students at Belur Math, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission.
The prime minister claimed because of the Citizenship Amendment Act “people here have become aware of the kind of persecution the Hindus in Pakistan face”. He added: “Pakistan is now answerable to us.”
He had made similar claims at a rally in Delhi last month, saying NRC was given shape by the previous Congress-led government, and the Bharatiya Janata Party had neither come up with it “nor did we bring it to the Parliament or announce it”. He also blamed the Congress and “urban Naxals” for propagating rumours that Muslims will be sent to detention centres.