"Up To India, Hope They Make Right Decision": Donald Trump On CAA Amid Delhi Violence

Asked about his position on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Donald Trump said, "I don't want to discuss that, I want to leave that to India. I hope they will do the right thing for the people of India."

Donald Trump said he spoke to PM Narendra Modi about the CAA.

New Delhi:

US President Donald Trump, asked on Tuesday about the violence in parts of Delhi over citizenship law protests and religious freedom, said he discussed it with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and "he wants people to have religious freedom".

On the violence in Delhi, President Trump said he did not discuss "individual attacks" and those were "up to India".

"We did talk about religious freedom. I will say that the Prime Minister was incredible and he told me that he wants people to have religious freedom. He told me that in India they have worked very hard to have great and open religious freedom. If we look back and look at what's going relative to other places...they have really worked hard on religious freedom," Mr Trump said.

Asked about his position on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the US President said, I don't want to say anything on that. It is up to India. I hope it will take the right decision for its people."

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Clashes erupted in Delhi over the CAA on Sunday.

At a news conference, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said the new citizenship law did not come up during talks between PM Modi and Mr Trump, noting the two leaders talked about religious harmony in a "positive way".

"The issue of CAA did not come up, but with regard to what you mentioned, the term religious freedom, there was appreciation from both sides that pluralism and diversity are a common binding factor of both the countries," he added.

Clashes over the contentious citizenship law scorched Delhi for a second day on Tuesday- coinciding with Mr Trump's first official visit to India - as the number of deaths rose to at least 13.

There have been widespread protests since the law that critics say is anti-Muslim was passed in mid-December, with more than 25 people killed before the clashes in Delhi.

There were still reports of violence in several parts of the capital's north-east district with large plumes of black smoke rising in the sky just 15 km from where Mr Trump and PM Modi held talks.

"The protesters are attacking police wherever they are present and clashing among each other where the police aren't there," senior policeman Alok Kumar said.

Three NDTV reporters and a cameraperson were attacked by a mob.

"There is hardly any police presence in the area. Rioters are running around threatening people, vandalising shops," a resident of the poor, migrant neighbourhood of Maujpur told news agency PTI.

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