New Delhi: Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, has appealed for restraint during protests against the contentious citizenship law, saying it was important to keep emotions in check while exercising the “democratic right” to protest. "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.