United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he discussed religious freedom with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but added that it was “up to India” to handle the ongoing violence in parts of Delhi, reported PTI. The US president, who is on a two-day visit to India, made the remarks as clashes related to the Citizenship Amendment Act claimed ten lives as of Tuesday evening.
“We did talk about religious freedom,” Trump said. “The prime minister said he wants people to have religious freedom. If you look back, India has worked hard for religious freedom. I heard about the individual attacks but I did not discuss it. It is up to India.”
Trump and Modi held bilateral discussions and discussed a potentially “big trade deal”. India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that there had been an understanding on matters related to security and defence. On Monday, at the “Namaste Trump” event in Motera stadium, the US president had announced a defence deal worth $3-billion. Trump, who is accompanied by his wife and United States’ First Lady Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner visited three Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Agra, and New Delhi – in two days.
Shringla said that there was no discussion between Trump and Modi on the Citizenship Amendment Act, PTI reported. “The issue of CAA did not come up, but with regard to what you mentioned, the term religious freedom, there was appreciation from both sides that pluralism and diversity are a common binding factor of both the countries,” he said.
Shringla said that India and the United States held talks in five major categories – security and defence, energy, technology and trade, people-to-people contacts and global and regional problems.
President Donald Trump and Melania Trump landed in Delhi on Monday night. Earlier on Monday, the president had addressed a massive gathering in Ahmedabad, and visited the Taj Mahal in Agra. On Tuesday, the couple visited Rajghat to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi.
In North East Delhi, at least 13 people have been killed and over 150 injured since Monday afternoon. Supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act first clashed with those protesting against it on Sunday evening. This came soon after Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kapil Mishra threatened the police, asking them to disperse an anti-Citizenship Act sit-in in Jaffrabad area within three days. On Monday, more clashes took place in various localities.
The sit-in in Jaffrabad area ended on Tuesday evening after the protestors moved out.
On Tuesday, Scroll.in reporters at the spot witnessed Hindu mobs throwing stones and petrol bombs at Muslim homes across the road in Kabir Nagar, near Maujpur.
Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code barring the meeting of more than four people continued to be in place in parts of the district, but fresh stone pelting, vandalism and gathering of mobs has still been reported from some localities.