Evidently rattled by the 72 hour long dharna by hundreds of women at Haldwani town against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and NRC, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Thursday created a controversy by saying that he has got inputs that some people from ‘Jamia’ and Kashmir have entered Uttarakhand to provoke people and disturb the law and order situation in the state.
Speaking after a function in Dehradun, Rawat said that ‘people have the right to carry out a peaceful protest but we will not allow people from Jamia and Kashmir to provoke people here. We will not tolerate it.’
“Agar bahar se log yahan aakar uksane ka kaam karege to humko sakhti karni padegi” (If people from outside provoke people here, we will deal with it strictly), he said. His ‘Islamophobic’ statement has been criticized by Uttarakhand Congress and the J&K Students association.
Rawat gave the statement following a 72 hour long dharna by hundreds of women and children at Taj Chowk at Haldwani against CAA and NRC. The women and children braved the winter chill to voice their protest against the CAA and proposed NRC. Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Indira Hriydesh has also addressed the gathering.
Uttarakhand Congress president Pritam Singh expressed surprise at the chief minister’s statement. Reacting to it, Pritam Singh said that if the chief minister has specific inputs, he should have got such troublemakers arrested. He said that by naming ‘Jamia’ and Kashmir, he is trying to communalise the matter.
Suryakant Dhasmana, senior vice-president of Uttarakhand Congress said that the chief minister was probably ignorant that half of the students of Jamia Millia University are non-Muslims. “BJP leaders are trying to communalise the situation for electoral gains in Delhi elections by making such statements,” he added.
Meanwhile, J&K Student Association, Uttarakhand has taken strong exception to the statement and requested the chief minister to provide adequate security to J&K students studying in various colleges and universities of the state. More than a thousand students from J&K study in different educational institutions in and around Dehradun and other parts of the state. Some of these students were manhandled by right wing elements after the Pulwama attack in February 2019.