West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of not keeping its promises, PTI reported. She was referring to Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s decision to withdraw Rs 10 lakh compensation announced for families of two victims killed in police firing in Mangaluru during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Banerjee said in Kolkata on Thursday that the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens will continue until they are not revoked. She asked students to continue their demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Act without fearing anybody.
On December 19, Banerjee had demanded that the Centre permit a United Nations-monitored referendum on the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens in India. “If BJP has guts, it should go for a UN-monitored referendum on the amended Citizenship Act and NRC,” she said. “If the BJP loses this mass vote, then it should step down from the government.”
Following Yediyurappa’s announcement on Wednesday, Congress leader Siddaramaiah said in a tweet that “an elected government cannot be so inhuman and cruel”. In another tweet, he added: “Why there is the drama of a CID [Criminal Investigation Department] inquiry when the chief minister has already passed his judgement that those killed in the firing were behind the riots in Mangaluru? It is confirmed now that you [Yediyurappa] had ordered the killings.”
At least 24 people have been killed in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act around the country over the last two weeks. Of these, 17 were killed in Uttar Pradesh alone.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed by Parliament on December 11, seeks to grant citizenship to people of six minority religious communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, but leaves out Muslims. This has led to the insinuation that the Act is anti-Muslim.
The National Register of Citizens, on the other hand, is a proposed exercise to distinguish undocumented migrants living in India from genuine Indian citizens. Earlier this week, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had claimed that there had been no discussions about the National Register of Citizens so far. However, Opposition leaders said that the duo were lying as they had made several statements to the contrary in the past.