MHA includes abrogation of Article 370 in list of achievements in Modi Govt 2.0
New Delhi, May 30 : Proactive action taken to check COVID-19 through a nationwide lockdown, abrogation of Article 370 which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and opening of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor top the list of achievements of the Ministry of Home Affairs in the first year of the Modi government 2.0.
Empowerment of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) with extra territorial jurisdiction and declaration of Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim as terrorists after legislative amendment were counted among its achievements by the MHA, headed by Home Minister Amit Shah.
The MHA also said the Shri Ram Janma Bhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust was set up by it to oversee the construction of Shri Ram Mandir at Ayodhya following a Supreme Court order.
Referring to the “proactive measures” taken to control the novel coronavirus pandemic, the MHA said it was declared as notified disaster on March 14 for the purpose of providing assistance under State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) placed at the disposal of respective state governments and thereby augmenting their resources.
It listed the lockdown measures implemented when it first came into effect from March 25.
The lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to check the spread of the virus. It was first extended till May 3 and again till May 17. It has been further extended till May 31.
The MHA has set up a 24×7 control room in the North Block as a nerve centre for monitoring, grievance redressal and daily status report collection from States and Union Territories (UTs). It is also attending to the queries of States and UTs or other ministries on lockdown measures.
The MHA also issued a series of guidelines to ensure uninterrupted movement of essential goods, providing food and shelter to homeless people and migrant labourers.
It dispatched Inter Ministerial Central Teams (IMCTs) to states severely affected by COVID-19 to make on-the-spot assessment of the situation and issue necessary directions to local authorities.
The MHA has issued SOPs to ensure inter-state movement of migrant workers and other people stranded at different places.
Movement of migrant workers during the lockdown has become a humanitarian crisis with thousands of them being seen walking on roads and railway tracks, ignoring government pleas to stay back at the place where they are.
At least 16 such people were mowed down by a goods train in Maharashtra, while at least 100 others were killed in road accidents in different parts of the country.
On Jammu and Kashmir, the MHA termed the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution in August 2019 as a “historic step”.
The subsequent bifurcation of the state into UTs — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — and implementation of all provisions of the Constitution without any modifications or exceptions in the two newly created UTs were termed as achievements.
It talked about the Union Cabinet’s approval for further modification of the applicability of domicile conditions to all level of jobs in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir under the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment) Act.
India signed the Kartarpur Sahib corridor agreement with Pakistan on October 24, 2019.
Indian pilgrims of all faiths are now allowed to undertake round-the-year visa-free travel through the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib (in Pakistan), one of the most revered shrines of Sikhs.
The MHA said the National Investigation Agency Act was amendment under which the anti-terror probe agency was empowered with extra territorial jurisdiction for investigation of terrorism-related offences taking place outside India, in which Indian property or citizens are victims.
The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act was also amended thereby empowering the central government to designate an individual as terrorist and seize properties.
After the amendment, Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim were proscribed as terrorists. The MHA said Left Wing Extremism violence have been down from 2,258 in 2009 to 833 in 2018. The number of deaths dropped from 1,005 in 2009 to 240 in 2018 and the number of districts affected by Naxal violence reduced from 96 in 2010 to 60 in 2018.
The initial list did not include the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as an achievement.
However, the MHA later in the day issued a revised list of achievements incorporating the CAA and a few other legislations approved by Parliament in last one year.
A home ministry official said the initial list was not complete hence a few achievements of the MHA did not figure in it.
The enactment of the CAA led to protests in different parts of the country and deaths of over 20 people in police firing and other violence.
The objective of the CAA is to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities — Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian — from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The other MHA piloted legislations include the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019 under which now the SPG would provide proximate security to only the Prime Minister and his immediate family members residing with him at his official residence.
The MHA said the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Assam, published on August 31, 2019 and a machinery created for detection and deportation of illegal immigrants.