Updated: December 19, 2019 8:35:37 pm
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Thursday sharply criticised the detention and police action on protesters and political leaders agitating across the country against the controversial citizenship law.
The chief minister issued a warning to the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, asking it to nullify the law rather than attempt to cover up the rising public protests. He said the ruling regime must not be under an illusion that it can dismantle democratic protests by detaining political leaders and the public and denying their freedom of movement.
“To think that you can wipe out public anger by frightening people is stupidity. Attacking students of India’s central universities must stop. The Centre must not attempt to stamp upon constitutional values and citizen rights. There is no history of a public movement being defeated through curfews, detentions, arrests and denial of freedom of movement,” CM Vijayan wrote in a Facebook post, condemning the detention of Left leaders and the Gandhi historian.
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader D Raja, CPM politburo member Brinda Karat, Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav and historian Ramachandra Guha were among those detained briefly by the police in Delhi and Bengaluru today during the agitation.
He also criticised the decision of the Delhi Police to not give permission to Left leaders and students of Jamia Millia Islamia to conduct peaceful protests in the national capital against the citizenship law.
“The NDA government is displaying the kind of excessive authority that was not witnessed even in the times of the Emergency. Denying permission to Left parties and the students of Jamia Millia Islamia to conduct a protest march against the citizenship act in the national capital, goes as an assault on the freedoms given to an Indian citizen by the country’s constitution,” he said.
The chief minister reiterated that the rising protests across different parts of the country reflect the emotions of Indians, against tearing down of constitutional values. At the same time, he applauded the bravery of people who were coming forward to protect constitutional and secular values.
“By setting up a stage of united protests, Kerala signalled to the country that it is at the forefront of the fight to protect constitutional and secular principles. No force can steal our constitutional rights,” the chief minister underlined.
He also shot off a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah requesting his intervention in preventing alleged attacks on certain students from Kerala studying in universities in the national capital.
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