Opposition fuelling protests against CAA: MoS Reddy

Opposition fuelling protests against CAA: MoS Reddy

Accusing opposition parties of fuelling protests against the amended citizenship law, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy on Thursday said the government has no immediate plans to roll out the National Register of Citizens across the country and was willing to talk to anyone who does not indulge in violence.

Reddy also said the rules for the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) 2019 have not been drafted yet and it will take some time before they are issued by the Home Ministry.

The minister defended the government's decision to snap internet services in parts of the national capital, saying the step was taken to stop the circulation of "false" and "mischievous" information.

"We have no immediate plans to implement the NRC across the country," he told reporters here.

Without giving any time-frame, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had announced in Parliament that the government would implement the NRC in the whole country.

Reddy accused opposition parties of fuelling protests against the CAA by inciting students, women and others in the name of religion.

"Instead of trying to stop protests, some political parties are fuelling demonstrations against the CAA. They are inciting women, students and others in the name of religion," the junior home minister told reporters here.

Reddy maintained that no government can tolerate violence. "We have to deal with violence. The Act is not against any religion, community or state. There should not be any reason for protests and the violence is taking place in the name of religion," he said.

The situation in the country is normal, except in a few places in Delhi and Lucknow, which witnessed violent protests in the past few days, he said.

The minister made it clear that the priority of the government was to maintain law and order. "After that, we will examine whether some external forces were behind the protests," he said.

Reddy clarified that the amended law will give citizenship to refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and will not snatch anyone's Indian nationality.

"There is no tension at all. I don't know why people are agitating," he said when asked about the law and order situation across the country.

The ministry is in touch with state governments and regular advisories are also being sent to states and union territories, Reddy said.

He appealed to political parties to act responsibly and inform the general public that the CAA was only to help persecuted refugees of the neighbouring countries.

About the protests, he said the government was willing to talk to everyone but appealed to people not to indulge in violence. "In a democracy, non-violent protest is always welcome," Reddy said.

The minister said some "mischievous" rumours like setting up of detention centres were being circulated on social media. "I wonder where did this question about detention centre come. Please read the CAA carefully before acting or going for protests. There is not a single word about Indian in the CAA."

He praised the people of the Northeast for continuing their protest in a peaceful manner.

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