Proactive action against Covid-19, repeal of Article 370 top MHA achievements in Modi govt 2.0
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, Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim. as terrorists after amendment of law were also termed as the achievements by the MHA, headed by Home Minister Amit Shah.
However, the surprise missing from the list of achievements was the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which 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.
Referring to the 'proactive measures' taken to control the coronavirus pandemic, the MHA said on March 14, it was declared as notified disaster 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 also 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 combat coronavirus pandemic. It was first extended till May 3 and again till May 17. It was further extended till May 31.
The MHA has set up a 24x7 control room in the North Block as a nerve centre for monitoring, grievance redressal and daily status report collection from States and Union Territory (UTs). It is also attending to the queries of States and UTs or other ministries on lockdown measures and addressing to inter-ministry and inter-state coordination issues.
The MHA also issued series of guidelines to ensure uninterrupted movement of essential goods, providing food and shelter to homeless people including migrant labourers, who were stranded due to lockdown measures, SOPs for social distancing for workplaces.
It dispatched Inter Ministerial Central Teams (IMCTs) to several badly Covid-19-hit states to make on-spot assessment of situation and issue necessary directions to the states.
The MHA has issued SOPs to ensure inter-state movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons 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.
The MHA also issued guidelines on the risk profiling of the districts into Red (hotspots), Green and Orange zones and SOPs for movement of Indian nationals stranded abroad and for specified persons to travel outside the country.
On Jammu and Kashmir, the MHA termed the abrogation of the Article 370 and 35A in August 2019 as 'historic step'.
The subsequent bifurcatiom of the state into two 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 termed as achievements.
It talked about the Union Cabinet's approved 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. This order would apply the specified domicile criterion for employment to all posts in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
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 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 and forfeit property representing proceeds of terrorism in cases investigated by the NIA.
After the amendment, Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Zaki ur 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. Number of deaths dropped from 1,005 in 2009 to 240 in 2018 districts affected by naxal violence reduced from 96 in 2010 to 60 in 2018.
It said the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Assam, published on August 31, 2019 and a machinery created for detection and deportation of illegal immigrants 'In-principle' approval given for setting up of 1,000 additional Foreigners Tribunals (FTs) and 'In-principle' approval given to the Assam government for creation of e-FT platform at an estimated cost of Rs 99 crore.