The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday clarified that it has not asked Assam Government to take any action against Editors of media houses opposing Citizenship Amendment Bill. It termed the allegation as “baseless” and “a mischievous interpretation of the facts”.
Ministry of Home Affairs: It has been reported in a section of media that MHA has asked Assam Govt to take action against Editors opposed to Citizenship Bill. This is an absolutely baseless and a mischievous interpretation of the facts.
— ANI (@ANI) April 19, 2019
Home Ministry said that it received a public grievance petition from “one Vinay Joshi” from Maharashtra about the Bill. The ministry furthered that it routinely receives such petitions and they are forwarded to concerned state governments.
MHA confirmed that Vinay Joshi’s petition has been forwarded to Assam Government and no inquiry has been ordered as claimed by few media reports.
MHA: Factual position is that one Vinay Joshi from Maharashtra sent public grievance petition to MHA on Citizenship Amendment Bill- 2016 stating issue has been exploited by different militant groups like ULFA and media has propagated militant ideology https://t.co/QL9unbkeej
— ANI (@ANI) April 19, 2019
Few leftist media portals had reported that home ministry has sought a probe into four Assamese editors and a news channel based on a complaint by a Hindu right-wing outfit with links to the RSS.
According to these reports, the MHA North East Division letter dated April 16, signed by Under Secretary Sanjeev Kumar and addressed to Ashutosh Agnihotri, Assam Commissioner and Secretary (Home and Political), and Kuladhar Saikia, Director General of Police, asked them to take “necessary action” on the complaint by Vinay Joshi who heads the Maharashtra-based Legal Rights Observatory (LRO). It said, “the applicant may be informed directly”.
But now the Ministry of Home affairs has come out to rubbish the claims made by these leftist media portals.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on 8th January, seeks an amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955, to provide citizenship to the persecuted minorities (Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Jains, and Christians) from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
The bill was met with severe opposition from Assam and other political parties of North-east. It was alleged that the bill is against the interests of the people of Assam, as it will allow non-muslims from bordering countries to settle there. They have alleged that bill is in violation of the 1985 Assam Accords.
PM Modi came down hard on the misinformation on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in a public rally in Amingaon, Assam on February 10th and prior to this had urged support for the Citizenship Amendment Bill to provide persecuted minorities with a dignified life in India.