Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched a Twitter campaign in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act with the hashtag #IndiaSupportsCAA.
The legislation, passed in Parliament on December 11, has triggered protests across the country. The amended law gives Indian citizenship to religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The law has attracted widespread criticism as it excludes the Muslim community from its purview.
“#IndiaSupportsCAA because CAA is about giving citizenship to persecuted refugees and not about taking anyone’s citizenship away,” the prime minister’s personal website’s Twitter handle posted. “Check out this hashtag in Your Voice section of Volunteer module on NaMo App for content, graphics, videos and more. Share and show your support for CAA.”
The prime minister also tweeted a video of spiritual leader Jaggi Vasudev, who he said gave a “lucid explanation of aspects” associated with the Citizenship Amendment Act. “He provides historical context, brilliantly highlights our culture of brotherhood,” Modi tweeted. “He also calls out the misinformation by vested interest groups.”
At least 26 people have died in the protests – 19 of them in Uttar Pradesh. The police have been accused of using excessive force to deal with the demonstrators. At least 14 of these deaths were caused due to firearm injuries.
In Uttar Pradesh, the Meerut Police on Sunday added the charge of sedition in the first information report filed in connection with the clashes during Citizenship Act protests on December 20. Meerut has registered the highest number of deaths across Uttar Pradesh during clashes between police and protestors.