'Protecting interests of Muslims is our responsibility'

'Protecting interests of Muslims is our responsibility'

In an attempt to allay fears among the Muslim community on the Citizenship Amendment Act, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday said it was his government's responsibility to protect their interest. Calling for peace, amid protests against the CAA in various parts of the state defying prohibitory orders, he accused the Congress party of being behind it and warned them of consequences.

The Chief Minister on Wednesday had declared that his government will "hundred per cent" implement the CAA. "I appeal to the minority Muslim brothers, this law will in no way affect you, protecting your interest is our responsibility. Kindly cooperate, maintain peace and order," Yediyurappatold reporters here. Later in the day Yediyurappa, who met leaders of the Muslim community, expressed "regret" about violence in Mangaluru and called it "unfortunate."

"I'm sending senior officials there (Mangaluru)...I have given strict instructions to police officials that they should not allow such incidents to happen once again," he said.

Despite prohibitory orders demonstrations had turnedviolent in Mangaluru leading to police clamping curfew in parts of Mangaluru.

Authorities had clamped section 144 of the CrPC that bans assembly of more than four people in various parts of the state including Bengaluru and Mangaluru with immediate effect on Wednesday evening. It will be in force till the midnight of December 21.

Assuring people, especially Muslims not to worry about CAA, and government was with them, Yediyurappa said "Hindus and Muslims are leading their lives as the children from the same mother in this state."

Alleging that the Congress was behind the protest, Yediyurappa said "it is because of people like U T Khader (Congress MLA) such things are happening, and if they continue in the same way, they will have to face the consequences."

Khader had recently claimed that the state would "blow up in cinders" if the Yediyurappa government tried to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act.

The Chief Ministerurged and appealed to all political parties, leaders and people in general to maintain calm on the CAA issue.

"CAA is no threat to the people of this country. It is only an act applied to people from other countries who seek citizenship. CAA does not discriminate people on the basis of religion. Citizenship is accorded on the basis of their nationality and not on the basis of religion or caste," he said.

Yediyurappa claimed that opposition parties and leaders opposing the act were doing it with a political motive and people of the country were intelligent to understand their designs.

"Citizenship Amendment Act is a national Act. CAA is a constitutional provision, there is no question of states rejecting it. As a member of the federal set up, every state is bound by the Constitution," he added.

Expressing surprise over the detention of noted historian Ramachandra Guha earlier on Thursday for staging a protest against the CAA, Yediyurappa instructed police to exercise restraint against the agitators.

Guha and many others were detained for staging a demonstration against the CAA and NRC near the Town Hall here, in defiance of the prohibitory orders imposed in the city.

Hitting out at Yediyurappa for his government's decision to clamp down on protests against Citizenship Amendment Act, Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah asked him not to be "undemocratic."

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