Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday condemned the attacks on the police during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act amid charges its personnel have fired at agitators and have been ruthless while dealing with them.
More than a dozen people have died and many have been injured during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests, which have spread across the country.
The highest number of deaths have been reported from Uttar Pradesh in the protests that have taken place in the aftermath of this month’s passage of CAA, which seeks to fast-track the grant of Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and Parsi in the Muslim-majority countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
“I want to ask those pelting stones on the police and injuring them, I want to ask those leading their protests as they hide … What will you achieve by wounding the policemen while they are doing their duty?” he asked while addressing a massive rally in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan.
“They are no one’s enemies… After Independence, 33,000 policemen have died while ensuring peace and your safety. It’s no small number,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the policemen are always ready to help people and do not care about themselves.
“Whenever there’s a crisis or difficulty, the police neither asks anyone about your religion or caste, does not care about the cold or the rain and stands up to help you,” he said.
PM Modi also criticised the Congress party, even though he did not name it, saying it has condoned the attacks on the police by keeping silent.
“The leaders of the country, the leaders of the party which is more than 100 years old… These people are preaching but are not ready to speak a word for peace, not a word to stop the violence,” Modi said.
“This means that they are silently supporting the violence and the attacks on the police and the innocent. This country is watching,” he said.
The Prime Minister also sent out a strong message to those protesting against the citizenship act and asked them to burn his effigy instead of setting public property on fire.
“Hate me if you want to, but don’t hate India. Burn my effigy but don’t burn a poor man’s auto-rickshaw,” he said during his speech.
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