New Delhi: Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, has appealed for restraint during protests against the contentious citizenship law, saying it was important to keep emotions in check while exercising the “democratic right” to protest.
Bukhari also said that the National Register of Citizens, which has also led to panic in the community, had not become a law yet. Seeking to allay fears, he said: “Under Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Muslim refugees who come to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh will not get Indian citizenship. It has nothing to do with the Muslims living in India.”
Bukhari added,” There is a difference between CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC). One is CAA that has become a law, and the other is NRC that has only been announced, it has not become a law.”
Protests in East Delhi’s Seelampur and Brijpuri turned violent on Wednesday when people pelted stones at the police and vandalised vehicles. The police then used batons and tear gas to disperse the protesters. On Sunday, protesters clashed with the police at Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia University in which several students were injured when the police stormed the campus.
Not just opposition parties but college campuses have also erupted against the law, which allows for non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to become Indian citizens.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to examine the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act but refused to stay its operation.
A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant fixed the pleas, including those filed by the Indian Union Muslim League and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, for hearing on January 22, next year.
The bench issued notice to the Centre on the batch of pleas seeking stay on the operation of the law as well as on the main petition challenging the constitutional validity of the controversial legislation.