Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Sunday criticised those opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act, and said the country was being “ripped apart” by the propaganda against it, PTI reported. Speaking at a Gorakhpur college as part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s awareness campaign for the legislation, Adityanath accused Opposition parties of “financing miscreants” for the protests.

“The Citizenship [Amendment] Act is not a law against any citizen of India,” Adityanath said. “It is against those intruders who are responsible for terrorism, extremism and separatism. The country is being ripped apart due to propaganda against CAA, and this is being done by keeping women at the forefront.”

“We cannot remain silent,” the chief minister said. “It is our constitutional obligation to reach out to people regarding the issue...The conduct of the Congress and SP is condemnable and irresponsible. These parties have financed the miscreants for opposing the CAA.”

Adityanath claimed the two parties were at the fag end of their political ladder and that the Congress was “unable to accept a new India”. “The citizenship law gave the Congress an opportunity to repent for its sin, but it missed this chance,” he said.

Meanwhile, one of Adityanath’s deputy chief ministers, Keshav Prasad Maurya, said in Vrindavan that those who are opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act are “mentally affected” and should get medical treatment, PTI reported.

The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed in Parliament on December 11 and notified on January 10, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered India by December 31, 2014. The Act sparked nationwide protests for excluding Muslims.

At least 26 people died during last month’s protests against the legislation – 19 in Uttar Pradesh, five in Assam and two in Karnataka. The Uttar Pradesh Police, in particular, have been accused of brutalities, such as entering people’s homes to destroy their property, arresting innocents and detaining and targeting minors.