Muslim cleric appeals youths to hold their nerve on CAA

Muslim cleric appeals youths to hold their nerve on CAA

Scores of people took to the streets to participate in the CAA protest in Bhopal. (PTI Photo)

A senior Muslim cleric on Saturday appealed to people to maintain peace and not indulge in the acts that bring "disrespect" to the community, a day after a peaceful protest was held in the Old City area against the new citizenship law and the proposed NRC.

Shahar Qazi (city cleric) Syed Mushtaq Ali Nadvi also underlined "restlessness" among Muslims and secular people over the two moves.

On Friday, curfew was imposed in parts of Jabalpur city, while the internet was suspended for six hours in Bhopal during a peaceful protest near a mosque in the Old City area.

"There was restlessness among Muslims, especially youths, and secular people after the Central government got the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) passed in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha recently," Nadvi said while addressing a press conference.

Hoping that the CAA and NRC be scrapped, he said, "I appeal to the young people to maintain peace and desist from taking law into their hands. Stay away from acts that bring disrespect to the community and disturb (social) atmosphere".

According to the Citizenship Amendment Act, non-Muslim refugees, who came to India before December 31, 2014, to escape religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be granted Indian citizenship.

Protests against the law, which critics allege discriminates on the basis of religion, have rapidly spread across the country.

Over the last few days, protesters have fought pitched battles with police in most major cities of the country, including the national capital of Delhi, prompting authorities to impose prohibitory orders.