Former J&K DGP, deputy CMs attend pro-CAA rally

Nirmal Singh, a former deputy CM of J&K, was present at the rally. PTI file photo

Jammu and Kashmir People's Forum on Sunday organised a public rally here in support of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act with speakers accusing the opposition parties of misleading the public in the country for their "political gains".

Many senior leaders of the BJP including two former deputy chief ministers -- Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta -- and former director-general of police S P Vaid also attended the pro-CAA rally at Parade area in the city.

"We are all participating in this rally as common citizens...everyone here is supportive of the Centre's action to grant citizenship to the oppressed minorities fleeing Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan," senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh told reporters.

He alleged that "anti-nationals" are behind the violence in the country over the Act. "Indian Muslims are pro-nationalist like any other citizen of the country but Pakistan, Congress and communists launched a falsehood campaign to mislead the Muslims."

"The CAA is not against taking away the citizenship of any Indian citizen but is meant to give citizenship to the minorities who are oppressed and are facing Jihadi terrorism in the three neighbouring Islamic countries," he said.

Another senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta also accused opposition parties of misleading the students of the universities on the CAA pointing out that there is a need for aggressive campaigning in the country to educate the people about the reality of the Act.

Among others who joined thousands of participants include senior BJP leader and mayor of Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) Chander Mohan Gupta, his deputy Purnima Sharma, former ministers and legislators.

A sizable number of women also attended the public meeting, carrying placards and chanting slogans in support of the Act.

"Some people and political parties are provoking and misleading public against the CAA for their political gains...the country was divided due to the wrong policies of the Congress and it happened on the basis of religion," president of the Jammu and Kashmir People's Forum Ramesh Sabharwal said in his address.

Senior BJP leader and president of Jammu High Court Bar Association Abhinav Sharma, addressing the public rally, said the CAA has been amended six times in the past and every time minorities have been given citizenship but nobody ever protested. "Those who are opposing the CAA are doing it under a political conspiracy," he claimed.

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