No refugee will be touched, no infiltrator will be spared, asserts HM
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday reasserted the BJP Government’s determination to bring the Citizen’s Amendment Bill in Parliament and promised to throw out “each and every infiltrator out of the country” by invoking the National Register of Citizens.
Addressing a meeting organised by the BJP workers under the banner of “NRC-Jagran Abhiyan” at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata, the Home Minister said, “Not a single refugee will be touched and not a single infiltrator will be spared. Each of those illegal immigrants will be thrown out of the country.”
Drawing flak from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) for prescribing different rules for Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, and the rest (read Muslims), Shah said those who had fled the neighbouring countries to escape religious persecution would be accommodated but “no infiltrator will be tolerated.”
“I want to assure all the refugees that they will be granted not only citizenship of India but also the right to become the Prime Minister of the country,” he said.
While the TMC promptly raised the constitutional propriety of his “religiously discriminatory statement as the Home Minister of the country,” Shah said, “BJP-led Centre will not allow any infiltrator to live in India,” adding, “refugees belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist and Christian community will be given citizenship.”
Visiting Bengal for the first time after assuming the charge as Union Home Minister, Shah slammed Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for peddling lies on the NRC and said, “It was the same person (Mamata) who used to raise the issue of infiltration when she was in the Opposition and the illegal migrants used to vote for the then Left Front Government. Now when she is in power and is winning by the votes of infiltrators, she is batting for them.”
Insisting that no one can stop the BJP Government from bringing the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament, Shah said when the Bill was tabled on an earlier occasion it was the TMC which shot it down. “Otherwise by this time all the genuine refugees would have been able to acquire citizenship,” he said.
Following mass confusion over the nature of a possible NRC in Bengal, the State has witnessed more than a dozen deaths — some of them as a result of panic heart attacks and some due to suicides — in the recent weeks as lakhs of people jammed the Government offices and panchayats for getting their records and documents regularised.
This led Mamata to repeatedly assure people that no NRC will be allowed in Bengal and that there is no need to panic because there are some parties which are spreading terror over NRC so as to polarise the voters, ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections.
Shah slammed Mamata saying that she is “spreading lies” by claiming lakhs of Hindu refugees will be deported from the State but that is not true.
“We will definitely conduct NRC in Bengal but not in the way she is telling. She is trying to spread panic. But I want to assure you that no refugee of Hindu, Jain, Sikh or Christian community will be touched,” he said.
Telling that Mamata’s days as the Chief Minister were numbered as the people of Bengal had made up their mind to throw her out, Shah who earlier inaugurated a Durga Puja pandal at Salt Lake said, “People of Bengal have expressed their desire for change by giving us 18 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. BJP is going to form a Government under the leadership of Narendra Modi ji in the State in the next Assembly polls.”
Attacking the Home Minister for making “discriminatory and unconstitutional statements,” Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said, everyone was welcome in Bengal during the Durga Pujas to enjoy the festive environment. “ But the way Shah spread terror around NRC in the minds of the people is deplorable, Mitra said.
“Look what has happened in Assam. Not only the names of 12 lakh Bengalis but also the names of family members of former President of India Fakruddin Ali Ahmed have been struck out. They are constructing jails one after another in Assam…. here they are telling that they will throw out one crore people,” Mitra said.
“Even my grandfather came from Jessore and I have no birth certificate as I was born in my house … so what will happen to me? I am in fear,” Mitra said.
Hours later the Chief Minister who was inaugurating a Durga Puja in Khidderpore reminded of Bengal’s liberal, pluralistic culture saying, “anyone irrespective of one’s religion was welcome to stay in Bengal,” adding “no will have to fear extradition.”
Meanwhile, TMC MLA and former Bidhannagar Mayor Sabyasachi Dutta on Tuesday joined the BJP in front of Shah.
Wednesday, 02 October 2019 | Saugar Sengupta | Kolkata
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