This Article is From Aug 25, 2021

"Make Changes To CAA": Akali's Harsimrat Badal To PM Over Afghanistan

Afghanistan Crisis: India has been carrying out evacuation efforts for more than a week as Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan after two decades.

'Make Changes To CAA': Akali's Harsimrat Badal To PM Over Afghanistan

Harsimrat Kaur Badal today appealed to the government to review CAA. (File)

New Delhi:

Akali Dal MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal today urged for a review of the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) as she highlighted the escalating crisis in Afghanistan where Taliban's return to power has compelled thousands to escape. The government should priortise the "rehabilitation of Hindus and Sikhs" coming from Afghanistan to "provide them a safe haven" in India, Ms Badal said.

"Not only must we rescue our Sikh and Hindu brethren from certain death in Afghanistan, it's imperative we provide them a safe haven and home here, for this is their own land. I urge PM @narendramodi & HM @AmitShah to make changes in CAA and facilitate their rehabilitation on priority," Harsimrat Kaur Badal wrote in her tweet.

The appeal to grant citizenship to those who have taken refuge in India was also raised on Tuesday by the Akali Dal's Manjinder Singh Sirsa, who also headed the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management committee. "Requesting @AmitShah ji & Govt of India for necc amendments in CAA to cover Sikhs + Hindus of Afghanistan who have taken refuge in 2020 & 2021. India has taken a humanitarian step by supporting minorities of Afghanistan & it would be great to help them by granting Indian citizenship (sic)," he tweeted along with a letter to the government.

Amid massive protests, the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA was passed in December 2019 for citizenship for non-Muslim minorities from Muslim-majority countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they fled due to religious persecution and entered India before 2015. While the law came into force from January 10, 2020, the rules under the law are yet to be notified and citizenship to the eligible beneficiaries will be given after these rules are formed. Critics had opposed the the law, saying it will be used to target Muslims.

The Akali Dal had voted for the CAA in the parliament. However, the party - a BJP ally at that time - had stressed on the inclusion of Muslims. 

On Sunday, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri backed the contentious law, citing the situation in Afghanistan. "Recent developments in our volatile neighbourhood & the way Sikhs & Hindus are going through a harrowing time are precisely why it was necessary to enact the Citizenship Amendment Act (sic)," Mr Puri tweeted.

Yesterday, the minister tweeted a video of him carrying one of the copies of Guru Granth Sahib flown to India from Kabul. Among others, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh praised the government for the evacuation efforts. 

Harsimrat Kaur Badal today also made another appeal to the government. "We fear not just the loss of human lives but also desecration of shrines and a number of rare handwritten copies of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Appeal to @DrSJaishankar/ @MEAIndia to ensure that along with Hindu/Sikh brethren, holy books too are brought home safely with full dignity (sic)," she tweeted.

India has been carrying out evacuation efforts for more than a week as Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan after two decades.