Shillong, Aug 19: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra on Friday assured that the Centre is not in favour of imposing laws including the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 - which are against the will of the people even as he urged the need to understand the concept of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
This came days after the North East Students’ Organization (NESO) had organized a sit-in-protests across the 7 states of the North East demanding the Centre to implement the 12 points charter of demands which include the repealing of the AFSPA and CAA.
When asked, Mishra said that the Centre is slowly and gradually moving in that direction as in some places, the imposition of AFSPA has been withdrawn following restoration of peace.
“Any such law which is against the will of the people will be removed as we are not in favour of keeping such laws,” he assured.
“But at the same time in the whole region peace should be maintained and those development works are going on there should be no hindrance to it, so after proper investigation and observation a decision in this regard will be made,” Mishra added.
On the demand for exempting the CAA from Meghalaya and other states in the North East, the minister however said those who fail to understand the concept of the CAA are opposing it.
“(However), we will make them understand as we haven’t made any new law. The CAA is a 1955 law when the then government made a law on citizenship. We have only amended it which is not applicable to the citizens of the country,” he said.
Mishra further justified by saying, “The only amendment we have made is the minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. If the minorities of those countries came to India before December 2014 we are giving them citizenship rights and with that nobody in this country will lose their rights or citizenship.”
Urging the social organizations to understand the concept of the CAA, Mishra said, “They should understand that this country belongs to them as well and if some of our citizen are lost in some countries and are in trouble and now come back to India they should be respected.”
“When the law is not for the citizen of the country, those who are citizen of the country they are recognised as citizen only, we have only amended 1955 Citizenship law that minorities from these three nations if they have come to India prior to December 2014 should be granted citizenship, so in that no one right has been questioned.