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CAA ‘has nothing to do with Muslims in India’, NRC ‘not a law yet’: Shahi Imam

His call for calm came as Delhi’s northeast area of Seelampur, Jafarabad and Brijpuri witnessed violent protests on Tuesday with the agitating mob resorting to arson and destruction of public property.

SNS | New Delhi |

Appealing for restraint and to maintain calm, the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari on Tuesday said that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has nothing to do with the Muslims living in India.

Amid violent protests over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Bukhari said that there is a difference between the two while reminding that NRC has only been announced and that it “has not become a law” yet.

“To protest is the democratic right of the people of India and no one can stop them from doing it,” he said. However, he added that it is important that it is carried out with restraint, “keeping the emotions in control”.

His call for calm came as Delhi’s northeast area of Seelampur, Jafarabad and Brijpuri witnessed violent protests on Tuesday with the agitating mob resorting to arson and destruction of public property.

On Tuesday, a total of 34 people, including 12 policemen and a few children, were injured in violence that erupted during a protest in Seelampur against the amended Citizenship Act.

Angry protestors torched several motorbikes, pelted stones at police personnel and damaged buses and a police booth in the Seelampur area.

While the situation was brought under control by late afternoon, few incidents in the area were reported till late at night.

The rioters also pelted stones at two buses carrying passengers, injuring at least six passersby and a dozen policemen.

They also targeted a school bus carrying some children, but the police managed to help the children travelling on the bus to de-board and were escorted to safety.

Delhi Police, in a statement, had said that the protest was scheduled in Jaffrabad, North East Delhi at 2 pm. People gathered around 1:15 pm and marched towards Seelampur. Initially, the protest was peaceful but suddenly violence emerged while they were dispersing.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, seeks to give Indian citizenship to members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, after facing religious persecution there.