The Citizenship Amendment Act does not affect any citizen, including Muslims, and they are proud Indian citizens, asserted Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday. The remark of Prasad comes amid violent protests against the Act across the country in several places including Delhi, West Bengal, and Assam. He also said that those guilty of violence will not be spared.
Prasad added that the Act applies to the aggrieved Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis living in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who have been tortured because of their faith. He further added that those who came to India in large numbers will be provided with citizenship under the Act asking 'why is there such hue and cry over it'.
Speaking on the protests, the Union Minister also asked, "Who is getting it done? Congress? There is win and loss in election and the Congress has ruled in the Centre. And you are trying to increase communal tension?" The Act will grant Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zoroastrian communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh and who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.
In the wake of violence in Jamia area of the national capital against the Act, Prasad asserted that officials will talk to the students and explain the matter to them. He, however, alleged it to be a sponsored protest, adding that urban Maoists have also become a part of the protests.
"We will talk to the children and explain them. But urban Maoists and those against Prime Minister Narendra Modi have also joined the protests. This is not right. We will take strict action against those who are committing the violence. The way the Prime Minister said yesterday, if you have the courage, say that you will end the protests and give citizenship to all the people of Pakistan, if you have the courage, say you will end Triple Talaq, and if you have the courage, say you will abrogate Article 370 again," said Prasad.
Training his guns at those who resorted to violent protests, Prasad asked them not to spoil India's communal harmony, adding that if there is any doubt then clarification can be made. He also added that strict action will be taken against those who create a ruckus.
"Those who have been defeated should not spoil the country's communal harmony. If there is any doubt in their minds, then clarification can be done in the House. We are still ready to clarify. There is no need for any Indian citizen, including Muslims, to fear. They will live in India with honour. We are honouring those who are suffering, those who have come from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. What is the problem? Violence is very unfortunate. Police said that not a single student was arrested. Those who are resorting to violence think that they will weaken the harmony and unity of the country. Strict action will be taken against those who create a ruckus," added Prasad.