Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai on Tuesday in Lok Sabha responded to a question on existing laws for the protection of journalists. In a written reply, he said that existing laws for the protection of citizens also cover journalists. "The existing laws for the protection of citizens also cover journalists," he said.
"Police and Public Order are State subjects under the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution and State Governments are responsible for the prevention, detection, and investigation of crimes and for prosecuting the criminals through their law enforcement agencies," the minister informed the Lok Sabha.
He also stated that the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) does not maintain specific data with respect to attacks on journalists. "The Ministry of Home Affairs had also issued an advisory to States and Union Territories on 20th October 2017 specifically on the safety of journalists, requesting them to strictly enforce the law to ensure the security of media persons," the Minister mentioned.
Nityanand Rai also informed the Lok Sabha that five foreign nationals who participated in anti-CAA protests were asked to leave India. "As per the Bureau of Immigration, 5 foreign nationals who violated visa norms by participating in the anti-CAA protests were asked to leave India," he said.
Protests erupted in various parts of the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) after Parliament gave its nod the Bill. The CAA grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh and who came to India on or before December 31, 2014.
Nityanand Rai clarified that there is no such proposal of merging ITBP and SSB. "An idea was mooted for considering the possibilities of the merger of ITBP and SSB and informal consultations were held in this regard. However, no such proposal is under consideration, at present," Nityanand Rai said.
Presently, ITBP is deployed on border guarding duties from Karakoram Pass in Ladakh to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh covering 3488 km of Indo-China Border and manning Border Outposts on altitudes ranging from 9000' to 18700' in the Western, Middle and Eastern sectors of the Indo-China Border. And the SSB is now spread along the International border across Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh.
(with ANI inputs)