Terming it an uncalled for action
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday condemned Uttar Pradesh government’s action in stopping Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi from crossing into Meerut to meet the families of the victims of the anti-CAA protests.
Terming it an uncalled for action, the Chief Minister slammed the UP government for the spate of curbs it has imposed on the opposition and citizens protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the states. In fact, he said, Rahul and Priyanka were travelling to Meerut not to protest but to share the grief of the kin of those killed in the recent police excesses on protestors. Reports indicate that the Congress leaders had even offered to go in groups of three, instead of collectively, but were prevented from entering Meerut.
The Chief Minister earlier tweeted: “Strongly condemn the UP govt’s decision to stop @RahulGandhi & @priyankagandhi from travelling into Meerut to meet the families of the victims of the #CAAProtests. What India needs at this moment is a healing touch and not such curbs against opposition parties. #NRC_CAA_Protests”
Protest is the democratic right of every citizen of India but the UP government has been acting in a draconian manner to crack the whip on protesting citizens as if they were terrorists or gangsters, said Captain Amarinder, citing instances of protestors being killed, maimed or arrested in police action. Such extreme reaction from a democratically elected state government speaks of vindictive politics against a particular community, which strikes at the very foundation of India’s constitutional ethos, he added.
The Punjab Chief Minister urged the UP government to exercise restraint in dealing with the situation triggered by the anti-CAA protests. “As leaders of elected governments in states, it is our duty to maintain law and order, but the Constitution does not give us the mandate to use excessive violence to counter protests,” he added.
At the same time, said Captain Amarinder, it was important for the citizens to ensure that they do not cross the line and keep their protests peaceful. Damage to national property is not the answer to any problem, he stressed, urging people not to vent their anger on public property.