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Home Ministry rubbishes claims by Media that it had asked Assam govt to take action against editors opposed to Citizenship bill

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.

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”.

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.

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.

SS of the report published by Leftist portal, The Wire on April 18, 2019

SS of the report published by Indian Express on April 19, 2019

SS of a tweet by Caravan

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.

In Assam, the Congress party and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) stood against the Bill. The TMC, along with the Congress, had staged a walkout during the discussion on the Bill.

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.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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