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Amit Shah asks Delhiites to punish protesters

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 26, 2019 Published on December 26, 2019

A man reacts during a protest against the new citizenship law outside the Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, on Thursday   -  REUTERS

Opposition plans to strengthen agitations; TUs to strike on January 8

As protests continued in various parts of Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Union Home Minister Amit Shah asked people of the State to “punish” the tukde tukde gang for the “violence” during the protests.

The Opposition, meanwhile, has decided to strengthen the protests by linking the ongoing agitations with the general strike called by all Opposition trade unions on January 8.

‘Opposition at play’

Talking at an official programme, Shah said the Opposition-led protests have turned violent and it has the support of the Congress. “It is time to punish the tukde tukde gang, which is responsible for the violence in the streets of the national capital with the help of the Congress party. The people of Delhi should punish them,” Shah said. He said misinformation is being spread by the Opposition against the CAA. “When discussions on the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) were held in Parliament, no one was willing to say anything. After coming out, they started spreading misinformation and disrupted peace in Delhi,” he said.

Senior Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken reiterated the Congress’s position on the CAA and the NRC and said the ongoing National Population Register exercise is an attack on the privacy of citizens. “This government wants to implement NRC in the guise of NPR,” Maken told reporters at the AICC headquarters on Thursday. When asked if the Rules in the Citizenship Act 2003 would automatically lead to NRC, Maken said the Clause 14(A) of Citizenship Amendment Act clearly says the Government ‘may’ compulsorily register citizen. “The Government may maintain a national register of Indian citizen. So, it is not automatically done, if the Government does not want, because this ‘may’ can be converted into ‘shall’ – it depends on the sweet will of the Government and as I said we decided on the pilot project not to extend it. So, we decided in 2006 following which we did not continue with the pilot project and thus this Citizenship project to issue identity cards to the citizens because it was cumbersome, it was difficult – so we stopped it,” he said.

Former Home Minister P Chidambaram, too, said if the BJP’s motives are bonafide, the Centre should unconditionally state that they support the NPR form and design of 2010 and have no intention of linking it to the controversial NRC.

Meanwhile, remark by Chief of Army Bipin Rawat that: “Leaders are not those who lead people in inappropriate directions, as we are witnessing in a large number of university and college students, the way they are leading masses of crowds to carry out arson and violence in our cities and towns. This is not leadership,” has become controversy.

Questioning this, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the Army Chief’s statement underlines as to how the situation has degenerated under the Modi government where the highest officer in uniform can so brazenly breach the limits of his institutional role.

“The Left parties will conduct a programme of solidarity campaigns to extend support to the All India General Strike called by the Central Trade Unions on January 8. The Left parties extend support to all the agricultural workers organisations and civil society movement that have called for a ‘grameen bandh’ on January 8,” the Left parties said in a statement.

Published on December 26, 2019
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