Home Minister Amit Shah, in an interview, talks about the massive protests against the newly amended citizenship law, the government's plans for a nationwide National Register of Citizens or NRC exercise and reports of detention centres in Assam.
The Home Minister, his interview to news agency ANI, also talks about the police crackdown on student protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act in universities across the country.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had denied that there were any detention centres in India, and implied that the nationwide rollout of citizens' list may not be happening. The Congress and the "urban Naxals", he had said, were spreading rumours and brainwashing anyone unclear about it.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act makes religion the test of citizenship in India for the first time. The government says it will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they fled to India because of religious persecution. Critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.
The National Register of Citizens - meant to weed out illegal migrants from the country - was rolled out in Assam earlier this year and left 19 lakh people out, who are now unable to prove their citizenship. Many of them are now in detention centres across Assam.
Here are the highlights of Amit Shah's interview:
"There is no link between National Register of Citizens and National Population Register, I am clearly stating this today"
"There is no need to debate this (nationwide NRC) as there is no discussion on it right now"
"PM Modi was right, there is no discussion on it yet either in the Cabinet or Parliament"
"NPR is the register of population on the basis of which schemes are made. NRC asks people on what basis they are the citizens of the country"
"I want to make it clear that NPR's data cannot be used for NRC. They are two different procedures"
"NPR is the basis for the structure of government schemes. A few things are new in the NPR like what is the area of the house, how many cattle, etc."
Amit Shah on AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi's criticism of the Citizenship Amendment Act: "If we say that the sun rises from the East then Owaisi ji will say 'no, it rises from the West', he always opposes our stand. Still, I again assure him that CAA has nothing to do with NRC"
"Citizenship Amendment Act doesn't have the provision whereby citizenship will be taken away from someone. It is an act which gives citizenship. Minorities have nothing to fear"
"Some parties are opposing it (National Population Register) so that minorities don't get the benefits of government scheme"
"Some people are trying to make people afraid of NPR, as fear against the Citizenship Amendment Act has ended"
Amit Shah on critics: "Please, for politics, don't make people stay out of government's welfare programmes"
On Chief Minister of Kerala and Bengal refusing to carry out the National Population Exercise in their states, Amit Shah says: "I humbly appeal to both Chief Ministers again, that don't take such a step and please review you decisions, don't keep the poor out of development programs just for your politics"
"NPR and census will take place in 2021. House mapping will start in 2020"
"It is possible that some names are missed in the NPR, still their citizenship will not be revoked because this is not the process of NRC. The NRC is a different process. I want to make it clear that nobody will lose citizenship because of NPR"
"Resistance against Citizenship Amendment Act should have come from Bengal, northeast; there's nothing happened comparatively. In other places, political movement were carried out. There shouldn't be politics in such a sensitive issue"
On police firing: "Police fire when lives of people are in danger. They have to safe their lives as well as people's lives"
"Detention centres are continuous process. If a foreigner is arrested without documents, he is kept at detention centres and they are deported later. Detention centres have nothing to do with NRC"
"We have not kept anybody in detention centres. People left out in NRC in Assam are living in their homes"
"There is only one detention centre in Assam, and it's been there for years. No detention centre has been built under the Prime Minister Modi government"
"The building of detention centres are a continous process. It is not specifically built for NRC"