- Title: India's Interior Minister Shah defends police action during CAA protests
- Date: 24th December 2019
- Summary: INJURED POLICEMAN WALKING
- Embargoed: 7th January 2020 15:08
- Keywords: Amit Shah Assam CAA Citizenship Amendment Act Home Minister India Interior Minister New Delhi police protests violence
- Location: NEW DELHI/ MANGALURU, KARNATAKA/ DISPUR, GUWAHATI, ASSAM, INDIA
- City: NEW DELHI/ MANGALURU, KARNATAKA/ DISPUR, GUWAHATI, ASSAM, INDIA
- Country: India
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002BBC428F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: India's Interior Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday (December 24), defended the action by police, who have been accused of using disproportionate force, using baton charges, and tear gas, and entering university campuses and assaulting students, during about a week of ongoing protests against new citizenship law.
"I do believe that such incidents must be avoided, however, it is a different issue to comment on such incidents while sitting in a safe environment in an interview as compared to when there are thousands of stones flying at you," said Shah in an interview.
At least 21 people have died during clashes with police as thousands of people came out on the streets in towns and cities across the country to protest, marking the biggest challenge to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership since he first swept to power in 2014.
Modi's government says that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is required to help non-Muslim minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who fled to India before 2015 by providing them with a pathway to Indian citizenship.
Shah also defended Modi's recent remarks on non-existence of detention centres. Shah said the detention centres already in place have nothing to do with NRC (National Register of Citizens), which critics say when combined with CAA, will be discriminatory against Muslims.
Shah reiterated Modi's statement where he seemingly contradicted the interior minister over plans for a nationwide register as he tried to defuse protests against a citizenship law a day before.
He said there is no discussion on NRC currently and if there was it won't be done discreetly.
Shah was appointed president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shortly after Modi's election win in 2014, a post he still holds. Modi named him to the powerful home ministry after he was re-elected this year. In April, he had laid out the chronology for the process, telling reporters: "First, there will be a Citizenship Amendment Bill ... after that, there will an NRC."
- Copyright Holder: ANI (India)
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