Opposition fuelling protests: Reddy

NEW DELHI: Accusing opposition parties of fuelling protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy on Thursday said the government was willing to talk to anyone who does not indulge in violence.
Reddy also defended the government decision to snap internet services in parts of the national capital, saying the step was taken to put a stop on circulation of “false” and “mischievous” information.
The junior home minister accused the opposition parties of fuelling protests against the CAA by inciting students, women and others in the name of religion.
“Instead of trying to stop protests, some political parties are fuelling demonstration against CAA. They are inciting women, students and others in the name of religion,” he told reporters here.
The minister maintained that no government can tolerate violence. “We have to deal with violence. The bill is not against any religion, community or state. There should not be any reason for protests and the violence is taking place in the name of religion,” he said.
Reddy said the situation in the country was normal, except in a few places in Delhi and Lucknow, which witnessed violent protests in the past few days.
The minister made it clear that the first priority of the government was to maintain law and order. “After that we will examine whether some external forces were behind the protests,” he said.
Reddy clarified that the amended bill will give citizenship to refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and will not snatch anyone’s Indian nationality.
“There is no tension at all. I don’t know why people are agitating,” Reddy said in a reply to a question about the law and order situation across the country.
He said the ministry was in touch with the state governments and regular advisories were also being sent to states and union territories.
He appealed to the political parties to act responsibly and inform the general public that the CAA was only to help persecuted refugees of the neighbouring countries.
About the protests, he said the government was willing to talk to every one but appealed to people not to indulge in violence. “In democracy, non-violent protest are always welcome,” he said.
The minister said some mischievous rumours like setting up of detention centres were being circulated in social media. “I wonder where did this question about detention centre come. Please read the CAA carefully before acting or going for protests. There is not a single word about Indian in the CAA.”
He praised the people of the Northeast for continuing their protest in a peaceful manner. PTI

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