Officers reach out to people to quell anti-CAA sentiment
Lucknow A week after anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests turned violent in the state capital, police and district administration officials met locals in various areas and held a series of peace talks on Thursday.
“All of us are citizens of this country…it is a reality and no one can change it. But some miscreants want us to believe otherwise on the pretext of CAA,” said Vishwa Bhushan Mishra, additional district magistrate (trans-Gomti), Lucknow while addressing a group of people in Hasanganj area.
“The CAA is a medium to provide Indian citizenship to people of minority community who live in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Hum sab ko yeh baat samajhne is awashyakta hai (all of us must need to understand this thing),” the officer further said as a handful of more locals gathered.
Mishra digressed into history to validate his point. “Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh are Islamic countries, can Muslims there be in minority?. This is why the government has not included Muslims of these countries in the new law,” said the officer.
Mishra also put forward an important point. “Some illiterate people were incited because of which I had to stand with a baton in hand while you had stones,” he said.
Khadra locality of Hasanganj was worst hit by violent anti-CAA protests where miscreants torched vehicles and set ablaze a police outpost.
“People don’t realise that those found guilty of engaging in violence will have to pay fines and face punishment by law. Their lives will be affected. I don’t want anyone of you to be affected by this and participate in any kind of unnecessary protest or violence,” Mishra said pointing towards the audience who heard him intently.
In a similar way, officers discussed the Citizenship Amendment Act in other peace committee meetings held at police station level.
SSP (Lucknow), along with the district magistrate and other senior officials, held a peace committee meeting in Old Lucknow.
“The purpose of these meetings is to clear misunderstandings about the CAA. Our officials are ready to provide information regarding the Act to anyone with doubts. But we don’t want people to hold violent protests on its pretext,” said SSP.
However, a few locals claimed that the peace meetings were a routine administrative exercise.
“Officers say they want to hear our concerns, but none of us was allowed to ask any question,” said a law professor who participated in one of the peace committee meetings in Old City.