New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah has repeatedly claimed that the Citizenship Act amended in December will benefit lakhs of Hindu, Buddhist, Parsi, Christian and Sikh refugees, but his junior minister Nityanand Rai on Wednesday refused to give their numbers in the Rajya Sabha, saying the data is “not maintained centrally.
“He was replying to CPI MP Binoy Viswam who wanted to know how many of these refugees are currently residing in the country since the CAA stipulates citizenship to only those living in India since 2014.
The minister said such refugees are governed by the provisions contained in the Foreigners Act, 1946, the Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939, the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and the Citizenship Act, 1955.
Since all these Acts are Central laws, it is strange that no data is being maintained regarding them at the Central level, Viswam said. The members fired half a dozen questions regarding the nationwide protests organised against the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the number of persons arrested, but minister Nityanand Rai wriggled out saying public order and police are state subjects. As such, the Centre does not have the data sought by the members.
He, however, readily provided details of the protests in Delhi since the police in the capital comes under the Home Ministry. He said there were a total of 66 anti-CAA protests in Delhi between December 13 and 20 and on January 24 and a total of 99 persons were arrested on the basis of 11 cases registered.