Modi appeals for calm; Opposition seeks judicial probe into attack against students

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 16, 2019 Published on December 16, 2019

Students of Jamia Millia Islamia gather for a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and alleged police excesses at the university, in New Delhi, on Monday   -  Kamal Kishore

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra along with party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel and others staging a protest against the CAA and Sunday’s alleged police crackdown at the Jamia Millia Islamia University, at India Date in New Delhi, on Monday   -  Arun Sharma

The Capital city witnessed protests on Monday too against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the police action against protesting students in various universities across the country, including Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for peace and said the CAA does not affect any citizen of India of any religion. The Opposition parties, meanwhile, have charted joint programmes against the CAA and the attacks against the 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.”

Modi, meanwhile, said in Twitter that “violent protests” on the CAA are unfortunate and deeply distressing.

Modi allays fears

“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 -ongering and falsehoods.

“We cannot allow vested interest groups to divide us and create disturbance,” the Prime Minister said.

The Opposition leaders told reporters at a press conference that the police entered Jamia Millia Islamia without the permission of University authorities. “How could the police enter Jamia and unleash such brutality on the students when university authorities did not allow the police to enter inside,” Azad asked. “There should be a judicial probe into the violence against students by police in the Jamia campus,” he added.

Amit Shah blamed

The Opposition leaders also rejected the PM’s statement that it was Congress behind the protests. “It is wrong to make such accusations and we condemn it,” he said.

Yechury said all culprits behind the police action must be punished. “Whoever gave the permission to allow the police to enter the Jamia campus should be brought to book and punished,” he said. “It is the ruling party and Government of India which are behind the violence. Had the government not brought in this law, there would not have been such violence. It is the Prime Minister, Home Minister and the Cabinet responsible for this violence,” he said.

Raja said there is a civil war-like situation in the country and he held Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Modi responsible for it. “Amit Shah must be held responsible for such brutality by the police. What is the response of the home minister, where is he?,” Raja asked.

Later, talking to reporters at his party’s office, Yechury said the CPI(M) will move Supreme Court against the CAA. He said the RSS is indulging in misinformation campaign and is claiming that former CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat had favoured this amendment in CAA in 2012.

Published on December 16, 2019
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