Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy on Tuesday said violence in Delhi associated with the Citizenship Amendment Act was perpetrated intentionally, and warned that “stern action” will be taken against those indulging in crimes, reported PTI. The Union minister’s remarks came amid continued violence in parts of North East Delhi that has claimed at least nine lives.
“I warn those behind the violence...The Narendra Modi government has zero tolerance towards it,” Reddy said. “Our government will take necessary stern action against those involved in arson and violence. Our government will not tolerate any form of violence.” Reddy voiced concerns over the tense situation amid United States President Donald Trump’s visit to India.
He further said that people will understand there was nothing in the amended citizenship law that worked “against 130 crore Indians”. “It is neither against Pakistan nor Bangladesh or even against any religion or region,” he added. The minister said that the law and order situation in the national Capital was under control as the Delhi Police was working responsibly.
Reddy added that additional forces had been deployed in Delhi to maintain law and order.
Reddy said those indulging in violence had brought “disgrace to the country” and were trying to tarnish the Modi-led administration. “Those conspiring to damage the country’s prestige are responsible for the violence,” he said.
The Union minister said the protests against the new Citizenship Act were a sensitive matter and alleged that certain political parties and demonstrators were associating the amended law with religion. On the anti-Citizenship Act protests in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh locality, he claimed that steps were being taken with caution and restraint. “They are our own people,” he said. “After being provoked by someone, they are protesting and that’s why we have been patient for the past several days.”
He said the Centre had not stopped the protests in Shaheen Bagh despite the demonstrators “blocking an arterial road” in Delhi.
He also alleged on Monday that the Congress and its former chief and leader Rahul Gandhi knew who was behind the violence in the national Capital, and asked them to reveal the information. “Congress Party and Rahul Gandhi should reveal who is behind this Delhi violence to defame India particularly when United States President Donald Trump is on a visit to the country,” he told ANI. “In India, people have the right to protest in a peaceful manner.”
Gandhi had on Monday condemned the violence in Delhi and appealed for calm to those indulging in violence. “Peaceful protests are a sign of a healthy democracy, but violence can never be justified,” he had tweeted. “I urge the citizens of Delhi to show restraint, compassion and understanding no matter what the provocation.”
On Monday, violence occurred in Maujpur, Jaffrabad, Bhajanpura, Kardampuri, Dayalpur and Chandbagh areas – located less than 15 km from the city’s centre – hours before United States President Donald Trump was to reach the national capital.