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P Chidambaram on CAA: Mass movement if Muslims sent to detention centres

News Agencies | Updated on: 14 February 2020, 15:30 IST

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday said "huge mass movement" must be held if any Muslim was sent to detention camps, in case the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is upheld by the Supreme Court.

Speaking at the JNU campus in New Delhi, the former Union Minister said the CAA was an outcome of the "NRC fiasco" in Assam that left 19 lakh people out of the document.

The CAA was brought to accommodate the 12 lakh Hindus among the 19 lakh people who could not be included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, he claimed.

Replying to a question by a student on the best course of action if the CAA was upheld by the Supreme Court, P Chidambaram said, "When they touch the excluded...they will only be Muslims, try to identify and throw them out, declare them stateless, there must be a huge mass movement, resisting any Muslim being thrown out or kept in detention camps."

He also said the Congress believed that the CAA must be repealed and there should be a political struggle so that the National Population Register (NPR) was pushed beyond 2024.

"The CAA was brought due to the NRC fiasco in Assam and the opposition to the CAA gave way to the NPR," P Chidambaram said, claiming that the NRC, CAA and NPR were "closely connected" to each other.

He said that Congress's decision to not to participate in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh protests was a concious step taken by the party.

"See, we are not going to Shaheen Bagh because that would be falling into the BJP's trap. If we go there, they (BJP) will say it is political," the senior Congress leader said.

Slamming the CAA and the NRC as instruments undermining the very basis of the formation of India, he said the country, instead, needed a "broad law" on refugees.

P Chidambaram also said the CAA did not cover persecution based on language, political ideology and economic deprivation.

Slamming the NRC, he wondered which country would accept those left out of the document.

"Which country is going to accept them? How will they go? Where will you send them? (Home Minister) Amit Shah saying that they are termites and he will throw them out by 2024 is talking through his hat," the senior Congress leader said.


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First published: 14 February 2020, 10:32 IST