Violent protests against Citizenship Amendment Act are "deeply distressing”, said Prime Minister Modi, as tensions ran high across India Monday against the contentious legislation.
Anger against the law has fueled protests across the country, from Assam to Delhi, to demonstrations in Bengaluru and Mumbai.
Anger with the law was further fuelled by allegations of police brutality at Jamia Millia Islamia university on Sunday, when officers entered the campus in Delhi and fired tear gas to break up a protest. At least 100 people were injured in the clashes there.
"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,” said Modi on Twitter.
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.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 16, 2019
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.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 16, 2019
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. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 16, 2019
Under the law passed by Parliament last week, religious minorities such as Hindus and Christians in neighbouring Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who have settled in India prior to 2015 will have a path to Indian citizenship on grounds they faced persecution in those countries.