Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally broke his silence on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on Sunday during the mega-rally in Delhi's Ramlila Ground.
He asked the people present at the rally to "hail Parliament for passing the act". He further stated that CAA will help the marginalised and slammed "some parties" for spreading lies and fake information about the legislation.
The prime minister pointed out that the government was not stripping anyone of their rights.
"Some political parties are spreading rumours, they're misleading people & inciting them. I want to ask them, when we authorised the unauthrosied colonies, did we ask anyone their religion? Did we ask which political party they support? Did we ask for documents from 1970,1980? Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians all were befitted, everyone who lives here was benefitted. Why did we do this? Because we live for the love of the country," Modi said.
He condemned the violence incited by some "parties and organisations" and said opposition leaders remained silent on the attacks on police personnel and damage to public property.
"33,000 police personnel sacrificed their lives for peace & security in country, since independence. Today, you are brutally thrashing them. When any problem arises, police don't ask your religion or caste, whatever the weather or time they are there to help you."
Further talking about National Register of Citizens (NRC), Modi attacked opposition for spreading lies.
He said, "NRC was made in the time of Congress. There are no rules and regulations on NRC (national register of citizens). It was not brought into Parliament. Congress and its partners have instilled the fear around NRC. Congress and Urban naxals are spreading lies that Muslims will be sent to detention centres. Muslims who belong to Indian soil, Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC has nothing to do with them."
This was good time to highlight Pakistan's attack on minorities at international level, the prime minister says while commenting on the protests by untouchables against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
"Dalit (untouchables) families from Pakistan are coming to India and their condition is the worst in Pakistan. Hindu women are not safe. They are taken away and their religion is changed by force," he says.
Thousands of people have gathered at the Ramlila Ground for PM Narendra Modi's mega rally that marks the beginning of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's campaign for the Delhi Assembly elections. It is a little over a kilometre from Old Delhi's Daryaganj, a region that was hit by violence during a protest against the amended Citizenship Act.
पीएम श्री नरेन्द्र मोदी कुछ ही देर में दिल्ली के रामलीला मैदान में 'आभार रैली' को संबोधित करेंगे। #DilliChaleModiKeSaath— BJP (@BJP4India) December 22, 2019
लाइव सुनें 9345014501पर। pic.twitter.com/GIuzQtMlck
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister Nityanand Rai, all seven members of Parliament from Delhi and the entire Delhi BJP leadership are present at the rally.
The mega rally has been organised by the ruling BJP on the issue of regularising unauthorised colonies in India's capital, amid nationwide unrest over the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Residents lack official registration as living in these communities, which number over 1,700, An elaborate security arrangement was put in place for the rally.
Tight Security Arrangements
An intelligence report has warned that Pakistani terror groups could target Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Sunday.
The agencies have directed the security agencies to fully implement the “instruction contained in the Blue Book for the protection of the prime minister while making security arrangements”.
According to a senior police official, 20 companies of outside force are deployed. Each company has 70-80 personnel.
"20 deputy commissioner of police -rank officials are present. As many as 1,000 personnel from local police, anti-drone teams and commandos have been deployed. The entire area around the venue is sanitised," the official said.
Area sanitisation means the movement of locals has been restricted, shops are closed and security personnel have been deployed. Traffic police personnel are deployed along the route to be taken by the prime minister, the official said.