Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday clarified that there is no connection between detention centres and National Register of Citizens (NRC) or Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), adding that misinformation is being spread on the matter. He added that no detention centres were created since the Narendra Modi government came to power.
In an interview with news agency ANI, Shah asserted, "There is no connection between the detention centres and NRC or CAA. The centres have been there for years and are for illegal immigrants. Misinformation is being spread on this."
Responding to a question, the Union Minister stated that the government has given time of six months to people who have been excluded from Assam`s NRC to approach the Foreigners Tribunal. "We have also made several tribunals for this and nobody has been kept in the detention centres. 19 lakh people who have been excluded from the list there are staying at their home only," Shah told ANI.
Shah said there is only one detention centres which have been in existence for years and probably there were no other such centres. "No detention centres have been made after the Modi-led government came to power," he said. Shah said if a person without valid documents is caught in America, he or she will be kept in the detention centres or any related arrangement and the process of contacting the respective country`s embassy begins.
Speaking on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), NRC and NPR to ANI, he also reiterated that there is no link between the NRC and National Population Register (NPR). “There is no link between National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR), I am clearly stating this today," added Shah.
The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal to update the National Population Register (NPR) and announced an expenditure of Rs 3,941.35 crore for its updation. According to the Census commission, the objective of the National Population Register will be to create a comprehensive identity database of every resident of the country.
Shah said, "There is no need to debate this (pan-India NRC) as there is no discussion on it right now. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was right, there is no discussion on it yet either in the Cabinet or Parliament."
The BJP leader further added that NPR was a continuation of a move started by the former UPA government. "It is a constitutional provision and is the same exercise which was conducted by the Congress-led government earlier. It is neither a part of our manifesto nor our promise. It was a good move started by the Congress which is simply being followed," he said.
On Kerala and West Bengal denying the updation of NPR, Shah appealed both Pinarayi Vijayan and Mamata Banerjee to not keep the poor out of the development programmes. "I humbly appeal to both the Chief Ministers again, to not take such a step and please review your decisions. Don't keep the poor out of development programmes just for your politics," said Shah.
Speaking on AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi's criticism of the CAA, Shah said that the former always opposes the stand of the government. "If we say that the sun rises from the east then Owaisi ji will say no it rises from the west, he always opposes our stand. Still, I again assure him that CAA has nothing to do with NRC," added Shah.
Addressing a press conference Union Minister Prakash Javadekar announced the decision of the government. Javadekar asserted that the NPR will be a self-declaration, and no document or bio-metric will be required for it. Speaking on Census 2021, added Javadekar, "We are implementing the scheme that the UPA had launched in 2010." The NPR was prepared in 2010 under the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and Citizenship Rules, 2003, which was subsequently updated in 2015 by seeding it with Aadhaar.
According to the law, a 'usual resident' for the NPR is a person who has lived in an area for at least six months or more or a person who intends to live in an area for six months or more. It is mandatory for every citizen of the country to register in the NPR.
It is a routine process being conducted to update the NPR, which will further supplement the upcoming Census exercise and also help provide targeted benefits under various welfare programs of the Government. This exercise was previously conducted in 2010 and 2015. The current exercise will further update the data/information available under NPR based on past surveys.