NEW DELHI: The Centre did not anticipate large-scale protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and there was lack of intelligence on these protests, sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and security establishment told this newspaper.
“There were security concerns in North-Eastern states regarding CAA but intelligence inputs did not give clear indications of violent protests in certain other parts of the country where violence did break out,” said a senior security officer.
Sources in the MHA too said, “Law and Order disturbance over CAA was not expected. There appears to be lack of understanding over the law.”
Speaking to this newspaper, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy said that the government will engage with all citizens of the country to dispel doubts if any.
“The government will engage with all those who have concerns over CAA. We will ask students to discuss their concerns with us. This law will not snatch any Indian’s right and is not against any religion.”
The minister also said that political parties which were allegedly instigating violence in the national capital over the amended Citizenship Act should refrain from doing so and asked people to maintain peace.
Expressing concern over Sunday’s violence in Jamia Millia Islamia, Reddy said the damaging private and public property was totally wrong.
“We are worried about whatever has happened in Jamia Millia University. On one hand, we are celebrating the 150th year of Mahatma Gandhi and on the other hand, people are inciting violence. Damaging private and public property is totally wrong. Protests should be peaceful,” he said.
The minister pleaded ignorance about any alleged atrocities by the police against students of the university on Sunday.