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RTI query seeks proof of Modi’s citizenship

Petition filed by Kerala activist referred to Central Public Information Officer

Kochi: An RTI applicant in Kerala has filed a petition asking to know whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an Indian citizenship, and if so, does he have the documents to prove it.

Joshy Kalluveettil, a resident of Potta, Chalakdy in Thrissur district of Kerala, submitted the Right to Information (RTI) query to the public information officer of the Chalakudy municipality on December 13.

A top official of the municipality said the query has been forwarded to the office of the Central Public Information Officer in New Delhi.

Joshy, an Aam Aadmi Party worker, said he did not file the petition to get publicity. “I’m doing this as a matter of public interest. My application reflects the concerns of thousands of people about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). As possession of a passport or Aadhar card is not sufficient to prove citizenship, people are fearful. I am keen to know whether the prime minister possesses a unique document that makes him an Indian citizen,” he said.

Joshy said officials were initially reluctant to accept his application and even ridiculed him, saying ‘who doesn’t know that Modi is the prime minister of the country.’

Joshy said people are worried that CAA will make them vulnerable to harassment by officials even if they were born in the country. “People are concerned they will be asked to submit old documents to prove their citizenship. If the birth certificate is made mandatory to prove citizenship, a majority of those who were born prior to the 1970s will be in trouble as they might not have it.

Though the Ministry of Home Affairs has made it clear that common documents relating to date or place of birth are enough to prove citizenship, people are worried, especially after hearing stories from the northeastern states like Assam.

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