At a time when protests against the newly-implemented Citizenship Act have sparked across the nation, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi led an Opposition delegation that met President Ram Nath Kovind to discuss the tense situation.
Earlier, senior Congress leader AK Antony said the Opposition delegation would voice its complaint against police action inside Jamia Millia Islamia University.
Here are more details.
Why are people opposing the Citizenship Act?
With this Act in place, persecuted non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh can get Indian citizenship easily.
The exclusion of Muslims, however, has sparked outrage prompting thousands to take to streets.
Meanwhile, protests also happened in the Northeast, where residents fear this law would increase the influx of immigrants. The agitation was more prominent in Assam, where curfew was lifted after six days today.
Congress finally donned the hat of a functioning Opposition
To note, it was the violence in Jamia which prompted Congress leaders to don the hat of a functioning Opposition.
Yesterday, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra sat at India Gate for two hours to protest against the police's excesses in the campus. She said she is fighting for the values enshrined in the Constitution and condemned the Centre.
And today, Sonia led the delegation.
Several heavyweights met President today
Delhi: Opposition party leaders, led by Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, met President Ram Nath Kovind today over Jamia Millia Islamia incident. pic.twitter.com/kxLle0jFjJ
Anguished at how police dealt with peaceful demonstration: Sonia
After meeting President Kovind, Sonia addressed the press and expressed concern over tensions in the country.
"The situation in the Northeast which is now spreading throughout the country including the capital because of the act is a very serious situation, we fear that it may spread even further. We're anguished at the manner in which police dealt with peaceful demonstration," she said.
As Sonia met President, Delhi's Seelampur remained tense
Sonia's meeting with President Kovind came when Delhi's Seelampur witnessed unprecedented scenes.
Protesters chased cops and pelted stones, forcing police personnel to resort to tear gas firing to disperse them.
Due to this violence, seven metro stations namely Welcome, Jaffrabad, Maujpur-Babarpur, Seelampur, Gokulpuri, Johri Enclave, and Shiv Vihar stations were closed. DMRC revealed trains will not stop at these stations.
Amid citizenship row, PM Modi hurled a challenge at Congress
While the Opposition has been targeting Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed Congress for the violence.
At a poll rally in Jharkhand, he said, "If they (Congress and its allies) have the guts, they should openly announce that they are ready to grant Indian citizenship to every Pakistani citizen. Then the country will make them pay."