NEW DELHI: Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari has called on the people of the country to exercise restraint and keep their emotions under control while demonstrating.
"To protest is the democratic right of the people of India. No one can stop us from doing so. However, it is important that it is controlled. Keeping our emotions in control is the most important part," he said while addressing a gathering here on Tuesday.
Bukhari urged the people, including the youth, to not be provoked by nefarious elements.
He also explained the difference between the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), saying they are two different things.
"The CAA is for those people who came to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh before December 31, 2014. They will be granted citizenship and it will not affect the Muslims living in India. The Muslim refugees who came to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh will not get Indian citizenship. It has nothing to do with the Muslims living in India," Bukhari said.
"While the CAA has become a law, NRC has been only announced. It has not become a law yet," he further said.
His comments came in the backdrop of an anti-CAA protest which turned violent in northeast Delhi's Seelampur area, forcing police to use tear gas shells to disperse the protesters, who torched two buses on Tuesday.
The police also stopped vehicular movement on the road, which connects Seelampur with Jafrabad, due to the demonstration.
The protest in Seelampur came days after the clashes between police and protesters in Jamia Millia Islamia over the citizenship law.
The CAA grants citizenship to non-Muslims of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who fled religious persecution and arrived in India until December 31, 2014.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have appealed to the people to maintain peace and tranquillity.