PM appeals for calm as anti-CAA protests turn violent
17 December 2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday appealed for calm, even as some opposition parties, including the Congress and the Left, with support from jihadi elements, resorted to violence in select areas of Delhi, West Bengal and Kerala as they vent their ire over the centre passing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The capital city witnessed protests on Monday with anti-social elements inciting students of Jamia Millia Islamia to take to street against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the police action against rioting students in Jamia Millia Islamia and the Aligarh Muslim University.
The opposition parties have charted joint programmes against the CAA and the alleged police atrocities against rioting students. Various leaders of the Congress and other opposition parties such as Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, Sharad Yadav and Javed Ali Khan met students and those who injured in the violence.
The leaders held a protest demonstration in front of India Gate here and said will meet President Ramnath Kovind to demand a judicial probe into the “police brutalities.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, meanwhile, appealed for peace and said the CAA does not affect any citizen of India of any religion.
“Violent protests” on the CAA are unfortunate and deeply distressing, Modi said on Twitter.
“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. He said the CAA was passed by both Houses of Parliament with overwhelming support and it 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,” he said. He urged people to stay away from rumour -mongering and falsehoods.
“We cannot allow vested interest groups to divide us and create disturbance,” the prime minister said.
The Delhi Police on Monday said the crime branch will investigate the violence in which four DTC buses, 100 private vehicles and 10 police bikes were damaged and asserted that it used "maximum restraint, minimum force" despite being "provoked" by protesters.
As many as 50 detained students of Jamia were released even as the situation in the campus remained tense with scores of hostel students leaving for home. University vice-chancellor Najma Akhtar demanded a high-level inquiry into the police action on Sunday after a protest against the amended Citizenship Act turned violent.
Student activists of the Students Federation of India (SFI) and the National Students Union (NSU) in several universities, including the Jadavpur University and Presidency varsity students in West Bengal, the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Maharashtra, staged protests over alleged police action against rioting students.
Student activists staged protests in Bengaluru, Kerala which turned violent, forcing police to take some persons into custody.
Activists of the DYFI, the youth wing of the ruling CPI(M), squatted on the railway tracks at Thiruvalla and Kollam and blocked trains.
Interestingly, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan joined leader of opposition in the state assembly, Ramesh Chennithala in a joint "satyagraha" to protest against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
State ministers, LDF leaders and the leaders of the Congress led United Democratic Front (UDF) also took part in a three-hour long protest at the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.