Amit Shah won't be allowed to enter Kolkata if CAA not withdrawn: Bengal Minister

Chowdhury said the contentious law is against humanity and the citizens of the country 'living here for ages'.
Home Minister Amit Shah (File| PTI)
Home Minister Amit Shah (File| PTI)

KOLKATA: West Bengal minister and state president of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind Siddiqullah Chowdhury on Sunday threatened to disallow Union Home Minister Amit Shah to step out of the airport whenever he visits the city, if the Citizenship Amendment Act is not immediately withdrawn.

Chowdhury said the contentious law is against humanity and the citizens of the country "living here for ages".

"We may not allow him (Shah) to step out of the city airport if necessary. We may gather one lakh people there to stop him," he said at a Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind rally against the CAA.

Reacting to his remarks, BJP's West Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh told PTI that Chowdhury has made such "provocative comments" in the past, too, with the "tacit support of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee".

"How can a state minister issue such a threat? If they (Shah, PM Narendra Modi) are stopped from moving around in the city, then imagine the situation of others who don't share its (Trinamool Congress) views? Stop playing with fire," Ghosh said.

The state's library service minister claimed that Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind's movement would be democratic and peaceful.

"We don't believe in violent protests, but we will certainly oppose CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) tooth and nail," he said.

The minister said the BJP has already been rejected by the people. "Just look at the ongoing protests all over the country, including in Kolkata," he said.

Chowdhury, who addressed the rally at Rani Rasmoni Avenue, said the "56-inch chest" of PM Narendra Modi has let down the people of the country, as he is "pursuing the politics of hatred and division".

"What they (Modi and Shah) are doing is thrusting one agenda after another on the people. They don't believe in discussion, they don't believe in dialogue. We won't let them pursue this," he asserted.

The speakers at the rally also thanked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for hitting the streets to register her protest against CAA and NRC.

"Please don't resort to violence, demonstrate peacefully. Muslims, Hindus and members of other communities in Bengal are fighting the CAA and NRC battle together. We must maintain that amity," one of the speakers said in his address.

Ghosh further accused Chowdhury and Banerjee of allowing violence to continue unabated for three days since December 13 during the anti-CAA protests.

"If people like Chowdhury use inflammatory language, they will be given befitting reply by the people of West Bengal," he added.

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