Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Friday took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, thanking him for the central government's "speedy" response to the violence in Delhi that has left at least 42 dead and hundreds injured.
Opposition leaders have slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for speaking out about the clashes around 69 hours after it began. PM Modi had been part of a grand reception for US President Donald Trump in Ahmedabad when the violence erupted on Monday and held talks with the American leader through most of Tuesday. His first statement on the clashes came on Wednesday afternoon via Twitter.
Speedy response !— Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) February 28, 2020
Thank you Modiji for making an appeal to our brothers and sisters after 69hours of silence .
In the meantime :
38 dead , still counting
Over 200 injured
As for our CM
He prayed !
And your minister blames Congress
On Wednesday, PM Modi had tweeted, "Peace and harmony are central to our ethos. I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times. It is important that there is calm and normalcy is restored at the earliest."
Amid mounting criticism over its handling of the deadly violence in the densely-packed northeastern fringe of Delhi, the police said they have arrested or detained more than 500 people and that they are still searching drains and homes that were burnt down for bodies.
There had been no new violence since Wednesday morning, the government said in a statement late on Thursday.
The violence began over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that the PM Modi's government introduced in December providing a path to Indian citizenship for non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Critics say the law is discriminatory and could be used with the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) to make millions of Muslims who cannot prove their citizenship stateless. The government denies the charge and says it is necessary to help those have faced religious persecution in the neighbouring countries.
A Congress delegation led by party chief Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met with President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday. Ms Gandhi demanded that Home Minister Amit Shah should be sacked for "abdicating" his duties and both the centre and Arvind Kejriwal's government in Delhi had been "mute spectators" to the clashes.