As the anti-citizenship act protests in the northeast continued to rage with the death toll reaching to five, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has hinted at a possibility of bringing in changes to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
Addressing a public rally in Jharkhand on Saturday, the Union Minister said he wants to assure the people of Assam and other states of the northeast that their culture, language, social identity and political rights will be not be affected by the act while adding that it was the responsibility of the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protect the people.
He also indicated that he will hold constructive discussion with the political leaders of the Northeast to come to a decision about changes in the Citizenship act, if required.
"Yesterday, Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma and his cabinet ministers met me to discuss the issue. They said there is a problem in Meghalaya. I tried to make them understand that there is no issue. Yet, they requested me to change something (in the act). I have asked Sangma ji to come to me when he is free after Christmas and we can think of a constructive a solution for Meghalaya. Nobody has anything to fear,” he said.
#WATCH HM Amit Shah in J'khand y'day: Abhi CAB aya hai... Kal Meghalaya CM mujhe mile,unka aagreh tha ki kuch parivartan karne padenge. Maine unhe kaha hai ki aaram se beth kar sakaratmak roop se soch kar Meghalaya ki samasya ka samadhan nikalenge. Kisi ko darne ki zaroorat nahi pic.twitter.com/0LAQTFbYQL
— ANI (@ANI) December 15, 2019
BJP president Shah further targetted the Congress and blamed the party for instigating violence in the northeast, which has been raging on since Monday. He also slammed the Congress for opposing Citizenship Act saying that the party feels that everything is done for the politics of vote bank.
The death toll in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act went up to five in Assam when another protestor succumbing to his injuries in Guwahati's GMCH. The protestor was admitted to the hospital after he received bullet injuries during demonstration three days before.
As many as 26 Army columns have been deployed in Assam to assist the Central Armed Police Forces to handle the situation.
A large number of trains were cancelled by the South Eastern Railway and Eastern Railway -- two important zones of the Indian Railways -- which run the services to most parts of the eastern state. At several stations, panicky railway employees fled from their posts fearing for their lives. At Krishnapur station in Murshidabad, a number of trains were attacked, and several coaches were burnt by the protesters, who also torched the Lalgola station in the same district and Harishchandrapur in neighbouring Malda. Railway equipment kept at Eastern Railway's Beldanga station was burnt by the protesters, who also damaged a fire brigade engine and set it afire. When police rushed in, they were stoned.