Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Amidst the ongoing protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), BJP’s national vice-president on Friday appealed people to properly understand the provisions of the legislation before indulging in violence.

In an exclusive interview to OTV, Panda debunked several doubts pertaining to the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which have triggered violence in many parts of the country.

The newly amended law provides for granting of Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who came to India on or before December 31, 2014. The law will not be extended to Rohingya Muslims persecuted in Myanmar.

Referring to the protests by students in several parts of the country, Panda said that I appeal to students opposing the CAA to go through the provisions of the act. However, several anti-social elements are joining the students in their protests and attacking police personnel and everybody should condemn it.

On the alleged police action on Jamia students, Panda said some persons were pelting stones and whether police entering campus was justified or not, that court will decide. However, when a law and order situation arises, to say that police will not take any action is not justified, he added.

Those who are pelting stones, they are not doing it based on some principle rather somebody is inciting them. People in the northeast had some questions in mind and the situation has now normalised there, said Panda.

“We need to understand that be it CAA or NRC, if the legislation had been brought by Jawaharlal Nehru or Rajiv Gandhi, then it would have been termed secular, but when the same thing is being done by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah then it becomes communal? We should discuss and debate it in cool mind and logically," Panda said.

Panda informed that during partition, the Nehru-Liaqat agreement was signed to safeguard minorities. It was honoured by India but no one else, for which Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, & Christians face persecution in Pakistan. In India, the Muslim population stood at 9 to 10 % during partition and it has now reached 15%. Whereas in Pakistan, there were 23% Hindus in 1947, but it has come down to less than 3 %.

There are media reports that the minorities in neighbouring countries are being kidnapped, tortured and subjected to forcible conversions. Isn’t it our moral obligation to provide protection to them as per the agreement as 99% of them were part of undivided India?, Panda said.

This bill has no implications whatsoever for Indian Muslims. They are Indians, to whom our constitution guarantees equal rights & protection, just as it does to every other citizen. Under PM Narendra Modi sarkar, 600 Muslims those who had come from Pakistan have been given Indian citizenships so far, Panda highlighted.

Watch the full interview of Jay Panda here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWZqzOHuzbY