Amid the raging nationwide protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday strongly defended the Act and asked the protesters to 'introspect' over their violent protests, that led to the death of many people and destruction of public properties.
''I want to ask the youths if the violence in the name of demonstrations, destruction of public properties and barbarity with the cops was justified,'' Modi said while speaking at a function here after unveiling the statue of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
He said that the properties, which were destroyed by the protesters, would have proved useful to their (protesters) future generations. ''If good roads are the right of the people then it is also their duty to protect them....if education is the right of the people then it also their duty to ensure safety of the educational institutions and the teachers,'' Modi said apparently referring to the violence at Jamia Milia Islamia in Delhi.
''I appeal to the youths to introspect....think about the families, whose members have died in the violence....think about the cops, who were injured,'' the prime minister said.
Stating that the time had come to give preference to duty over rights, Modi asked the people not to fall prey to ''false rumours'' over the CAA.
He said that the CAA was the ''method to devised by 130 crore Indians to enable the millions of people, especially dalits, who somehow managed to protect their religion and were forced to take refuge in India, to live a dignified life with Indian citizenship''.
As many as 20 people, mostly youngsters, were killed and scores others, including cops, injured in clashes between the people, protesting against the CAA, and the security personnel in different parts of Uttar Pradesh last week.