Karnataka chief minister Yediyurappa’s statement came after noted historian Ramachandra Guha and 200 others were forcibly detained by the Bengaluru Police as they protested the Citizenship Act
Bengaluru: Expressing surprise over the detention of noted historian Ramachandra Guha earlier on Thursday for staging a protest against the CAA, Yediyurappa instructed the police to exercise restraint against the agitators. Guha and many others were detained for staging a demonstration against the CAA and NRC near Town Hall in Bengaluru, in defiance of the prohibitory orders imposed in the city.
In an attempt to allay fears among the Muslim community regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Thursday said, "Protecting your interest is our responsibility." Calling for peace amid CAA protests in various parts of the state defying prohibitory orders, he alleged Congress’s role behind it and warned them of consequences.
Hitting out at Yediyurappa for his government’s decision to clamp down on protests against Citizenship Amendment Act, Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah asked him not to be “undemocratic”.
Speaking to reporters here, he said, “We have not given permission for any agitation in favour or against the law, and section 144 was in place.” Authorities had clamped section 144 of the CrPC in various parts of the state including Bengaluru and Mangaluru with immediate effect on Wednesday evening that will be in force till the midnight of December 21.
Alleging the Congress was behind the protest, Yediyurappa said it is because of people like Congress MLA UT Khader, such things are happening, and if they continue in the same way, they will have to face the consequences. Khader had recently claimed that the state would “blow up in cinders” if the Yediyurappa government tried to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The chief minister on Wednesday had declared that his government will “100%” implement the CAA. “I appeal to the minority Muslim brothers, this law will in no way affect you, protecting your interest is our responsibility. Kindly cooperate, maintain peace and order,” Yediyurappa had said.
Later in the day as the protests grew, CM Yediyurappa once again urged and appealed to all political parties, leaders and people in general to maintain calm on the CAA issue. “CAA is no threat to the people of this country. It is only an Act applied to people from other countries who seek citizenship. CAA does not discriminate people based on religion. Citizenship is accorded based on their nationality and not based on religion or caste,” he said.
Yediyurappa also claimed that opposition parties and leaders who are opposing the Act are doing it with a political motive and people of the country are intelligent to understand their motto. “Citizenship Amendment Act is a national Act. CAA is a constitutional provision, there is no question of states rejecting it. As a member of the federal set up, every state is bound by the Constitution,” he added.
Different parts of the country witnessed violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which was passed by Parliament and given assent by the President last week.
According to the Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, and facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship. The act says refugees of the six communities will be given Indian citizenship after residing in India for five years, instead of 11 years earlier.
With PTI Inputs
Last Updated 19, Dec 2019, 6:51 PM