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Govt brought about citizenship Bill due to vested interests: Opposition

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury (sencond from left), along with Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal (right) and CPI leader D. Raja (left), addresses a press conference condemning the alleged police action against students of Jamia Millia Islamia University, in New Delhi on December 16, 2019.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury (sencond from left), along with Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal (right) and CPI leader D. Raja (left), addresses a press conference condemning the alleged police action against students of Jamia Millia Islamia University, in New Delhi on December 16, 2019.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Opposition leaders condemn police action against Jamia Millia Islamia students and demand judicial inquiry into incidents that led to several students being injured

The Union government is responsible for the fallout of bringing in the Citizenship Amendment Act, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Monday in response to the statements by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the Congress and its allies were behind the violence in the garb of protests against the Act. 

Mr. Azad and other Opposition leaders were addressing a press conference to condemn the Delhi Police action on Sunday against Jamia Millia Islamia students and demand a judicial inquiry into the incidents when the Prime Minister issued a series of tweets.

In a tweet, he said: “We cannot allow vested interest groups to divide us and create disturbance.” 

Responding to this, Mr. Azad said, “We are against any type of violence. The Prime Minister is right in saying that there are vested interests, they brought about the Bill due to vested interests.”

At an election rally in Jharkhand on Sunday, Mr. Modi said the Congress and its friends were stoking violence. 

Responding to Mr. Modi’s assertion that the Bill was passed with “overwhelming support”, Mr. Azad said it was a close vote in the Rajya Sabha. Regional parties had been pressured into supporting the Bill, something which the government had been doing since coming to power in 2014, he alleged.

Mr. Azad said the entire Opposition was united in condemning the police action at the university. In student agitations, the police would not enter the university campus without the Vice Chancellor’s approval. “Since the VC has said that no approval has been given, how did the police, which is under the control of the BJP-ruled Centre, enter Jamia”, he asked. He demanded a judicial inquiry into the incidents. The Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the Cabinet are responsible as they brought in such legislation.

Congress leader Kapil Sibal said riots happened due to communal tensions or local issues, but when riots and violence occurred due to the government's decision, it was very dangerous. “It means the country is against the government.” 

Reacting to Mr. Modi’s tweets, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury said, “It does not behove someone like the Prime Minister to hurl such charges”. What happened in Jamia was unacceptable in a democracy. “Whose orders were it on the basis of which Delhi Police entered the university. The Home Minister is directly in charge. Where is he? We haven’t seen him in the past two days.”

CPI leader D. Raja said, “There is a civil war-like situation in the country”.

Manoj Kumar Jha of the Rashtriya Janata Dal condemned the “dog whistle message of the Prime Minister that [protesters] could be recognised by their clothes”.

Javed Ali Khan of the Samajwadi Party said he had been a student of Jamia, as was his wife, who was now a teacher there. His daughter is a Jamia student currently, he said, adding that the issue was an emotional one for him.

Referring to the burning of buses by protesters, something which Jamia students have disassociated themselves from, Mr. Khan said “the fire incident happened 3 km away from the Jamia campus and the Delhi Police showed their courage on the students studying in the library, 3 km away from the incidents.” The government should convene a special session of Parliament to revoke the CAA.

Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav said “either this government will remain, or the CAA will remain.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 10:13:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/opposition-condemns-police-action-at-jamia-demands-judicial-probe/article30320522.ece

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