Govt responsible for widespread protests: Cong

Govt responsible for widespread protests: Cong

Congress senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said people's rights must be respected and those protesting against the act need reassurance, and thus must be heard by the government.

Holding the government responsible for widespread protests in the country, the Congress on Friday demanded that the contentious citizenship law be repealed, and pitched for dialogue with protesters.

Congress senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said people's rights must be respected and those protesting against the act need reassurance, and thus must be heard by the government.

"People's rights must be respected, people need reassurance and need a dialogue. They (the government) should hold back any further action on this act. We have asked the President also to intervene and the supreme court is seized of the matter. It would be advisable if the government itself repeals it," he said.

On the current spree of protests across the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act, Sharma alleged the situation is entirely created by the government.

"We had forewarned them that you will create an environment of insecurity and uncertainty in the country. And you cannot even estimate the fallout because people are apprehensive and rightly so. They have seen what has happened in the NRC. Assam has a history but after the Assam Accord things were settling down," he said.

Sharma also asserted that this unwarranted amendment could have been avoided as the citizenship act and the constitution of India have enough provisions to grant citizenship and this has been done in the past.

"The government of India has also done that in the past. What prevents the government from doing the same again.

"But if you want to create a divisive agenda, it is going to create deep fault lines. And that is what has happened. In Assam, it is a question of their identity, their language, their culture which was protected by the Assam Accord...," he asked.

Carrying tricolour and 'Save Constitution' banners, thousands of people rallied in the national capital on Friday to continue their stir against the amended citizenship law, even as security forces were put on high alert in various states after at least three deaths during Thursday's nationwide protests.

Mobile internet and SMS services were suspended in parts of Karanataka and in Uttar Pradesh, where fresh clashes erupted between protesters and police in Gorakhpur.

In the national capital, additional security arrangements were made in view of the Friday prayers and prohibitory orders were imposed in sensitive areas. But a massive protest broke out in the Jama Masjid area soon after the afternoon prayers, while Chandrashekhar Azad's Bhim Army also held a protest march despite denial of permission from the Delhi Police.

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