As violence rocked South Delhi over the amended citizenship law on Sunday, some politicians reacted with shock and demanded an inquiry into the incident, while others called the protestors “anarchists” who do not consider the Constitution “sacrosanct”.
At least six policemen and more than 50 others were injured during the clash over the law that seeks to provide citizenship rights to religious minorities from three neighbouring countries who arrived in India to escape religious persecution.
Blaming the Centre’s BJP government for the police action in Jamia varsity campus, the Congress accused it of having failed in its duty to maintain peace in the country and leaving even Delhi “burning” after Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya.
“From the North East to Assam, West Bengal and now in Delhi. The BJP government has failed in its duty to maintain peace in the nation. They must take responsibility and restore peace in our country,” the Congress said on its official Twitter handle.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked if it was justified that the police entered the Jamia University campus library and beat up students and lob tear gas shells at them.
“Delhi is burning, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya are burning. Violence is spreading in Bengal, the Home Minister does not have the courage to go the northeast, Japan PM’s visit had to be cancelled, but Modiji is happy doing poll campaign in Jharkhand.
"Those who oppose it are dubbed as traitors and Jamia is the recent example of this," he said.
CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury condemned the police action against the students and termed the force’s entry into the varsity “illegal”.
“Police entry here is illegal. Bursting into the library, teargassing, using force and marching students out with hands raised is simply not done. We strongly condemn this.
“This is the reason why the violence and its handling in Delhi is deeply suspect. We have seen that the conduct of Delhi Police, which comes directly under the Central govt, has been questionable in dealing with students of central universities in Delhi in the past as well,” tweeted Yechury.
National vice-president of the BJP Baijayant Jay Panda said that the protests in Delhi showed why the Citizenship Amendment Law was required. “The vandalism & arson by protestors shd make it clear to any who still have doubts why #CitizenshipAmendmentAct & #NRC are needed “These people are far from being the concerned citizens they claim to be. They are anarchists to whom neither constitution nor citizenship is sacrosanct,” he tweeted.
Former Minister of Finance and External Affairs Yashwant Sinha said, "This is the 1974 moment of Modi sarkar. The beginning of the end."