Lucknow: Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra today made an unscheduled visit to Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh and met the families of two people killed in recent violence over the amended citizenship law.
Local Congress leaders said she visited Nahtaur in the district to meet the families of the two people. UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu said Ms Gandhi also spoke with other residents.
Bijnor was one of the districts in Uttar Pradesh affected by violence over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
On Saturday, Ms Gandhi accused the BJP government of using dictatorial measures to suppress the voice of people as she condemned the detention of students, intellectuals, journalists and social workers.
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the amended citizenship law are against the Constitution, she said in a statement. “The people of the country would not allow any such attack on the Constitution but the government was bent upon using force and violence against protesters,” she said.
At a mega rally to launch the BJP’s campaign for election in Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said there was no plan to send Indian Muslims to detention centres. “Those who are Muslims of this country’s soil, they have nothing to do with the citizenship law and the NRC. Neither is anybody sending the country’s Muslims to detention centres nor are there any detention centres in India. This is a white lie,” PM Modi said at the rally.
Reacting to his statement, the Congress said “detention centres are extremely real”. “Does PM Modi believe Indians can’t do a simple Google Search to fact check his lies? Detention centres are extremely real and will continue to grow as long as this government is in power,” the Congress tweeted.
Protests are going on intermittently in several parts of the country against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Assam and West Bengal saw large-scale violence. Some states in the north-east say refugee-turned-citizens may overrun tribes and take away their political representation in the long run.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act for the first time makes religion the test of citizenship in India. The government says it will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they fled to India before 2015 because of religious persecution. Critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principals of the constitution.