'Violent protests on Citizenship Amendment Act are unfortunate, deeply distressing': PM Modi

New Delhi: Following a night of violent protests in Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, and marches across the country by students and citizens against the violence of police and security forces, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) movement, saying that the CAA does not affect any citizen of India of any religion.

In a series of tweets, Modi said.

“Violent protests on the Citizenship Amendment Act are unfortunate and deeply distressing.

Debate, discussion and dissent are essential parts of democracy but, never has damage to public property and disturbance of normal life been a part of our ethos.

The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 was passed by both Houses of Parliament with overwhelming support. Large number of political parties and MPs supported its passage. This Act illustrates India’s centuries old culture of acceptance, harmony, compassion and brotherhood.

I want to unequivocally assure my fellow Indians that CAA does not affect any citizen of India of any religion. No Indian has anything to worry regarding this Act. This Act is only for those who have faced years of persecution outside and have no other place to go except India.

The need of the hour is for all of us to work together for the development of India and the empowerment of every Indian, especially the poor, downtrodden and marginalised.

We cannot allow vested interest groups to divide us and create disturbance.

This is the time to maintain peace, unity and brotherhood. It is my appeal to everyone to stay away from any sort of rumour mongering and falsehoods.”

Modi was addressing recent developments in the country, as a protest march by students of Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi against the Citizenship Act (CAA) on 15 December turned violent with at least three buses and several two-wheelers set ablaze. Batons and tear gas were used as police were seen chasing protesters through the streets. At least 125 people were injured in the clashes through the evening.

Following the events, protests erupted in several parts of the country following the violence in Delhi, including IIT Bombay, Jadavpur University in West Bengal, JNU, Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Maulana Azad National Urdu University in Hyderabad, and parts of Kerala.

Police also clashed with students at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), where a local reporter said tear gas and water cannons used by cops, and stone pelting was witnessed.

Students and alumni of the University released a statement early on the morning of 16 December which can be seen here.

Earlier today, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that he stands in solidarity with all those protesting peacefully against the Citizenship Act (CAA) and NRC.

“The CAB & NRC are weapons of mass polarisation unleashed by fascists on India. The best defence against these dirty weapons is peaceful, non violent Satyagraha. I stand in solidarity with all those protesting peacefully against the CAB & NRC,” tweeted Gandhi.


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The ID Staff

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