Govt says anti-CAA protesters spreading misinformation

Govt says anti-CAA protesters spreading misinformation

The state government will extend the imposition of section 144 in the city if necessary, Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan said. 

Speaking to media after addressing party members at BJP headquarters on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on Saturday morning, Narayan said the
government was looking at all solutions to restore calm in the city. 

“If necessary, we will extend Section 144 which is set to be lifted tomorrow. We are exploring all our options with members of law enforcement,” he said.

Section 144 prohibits the assembly of more than four people in public areas. Activists, joined by the historian Ramachandra Guha had castigated officials for crackdowns against the largely peaceful demonstrations held in the city.

However, the BJP suggested that it regarded the protests as “illegal,” not only because they flouted Section 144, but because such protests spread “misinformation” about CAA.

Narayan insisted that there were no plans that he knew of to link CAA with the National Registry of Citizens (NRC), which could potentially disenfranchise those people without documentation proving their Indian citizenship. 

“However, people are conflating CAA with NRC. The Citizenship Amendment Act is only intended to help minority refugees from neighbouring countries. It has nothing to do with the NRC. The protests which are taking place are spreading misinformation,” he said.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhu Swamy said the government has not yet decided what it will do with people from other countries living in the country illegally.

He also painted the CAA as an inherently “humanitarian” piece of legislation intended to help “stateless people”.

He claimed that the CAA was the BJP’s contribution to the Indian legacy of helping stateless people. However, when questioned on why Muslim refugees would be barred under CAA, and why the central government, in 2015, refused to grant entry to Rohingya refugees fleeing a crackdown in neighboring Myanmar, Narayan clarified that CAA sought to help minorities in only Muslim majority nations.


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