As the country boils in protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has appealed for peace in the Northeast and West Bengal.
"As citizens of India, we have the right to express our anguish, our concerns, and emphasize our rights. I would request the people of Assam, northeast and Bengal to air your concerns, but peacefully," said the founder of The Art of Living.
He added that one should not take the law in their hands as there are legal recourses available to handle a situation. Let us see that people are not hurt and properties are not destroyed. Let our protests be peaceful. There are ways to start a dialogue on this. Let us not create fear and tension in the area and destroy our own properties," he said.
The spiritual leader further said that all the religious leaders should ask their communities to stay calm and peaceful.
"For the sake of the nation, this is the time we should come together and see no untoward incidences happen. Anti-social elements should not hijack a cause like this," said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Protests across country
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's appeal comes at a time when protests against CAA have spread across the country, with several students and activists detained, and university campuses flaring up with demonstrations.
Around 100 students from Jamia Millia Islamia were detained on Sunday by the Delhi police. All the detained students were released around 3.30 am on Monday.
Students at the Aligarh Muslim University also clashed with the police after their solidarity march was stopped. Following this, Hyderabad's Maulana Azad Urdu University and the Banaras Hindu University also raised their voices.
Agitating against the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), a mob set afire a police post and targeted some vehicles at Kargil Chowk in Patna, Bihar, on Sunday. According to Patna District Magistrate Kumar Ravi, the protesters were moving towards the Kargil Chowk from Ashok Rajpath when they were intercepted by the police.
West Bengal, too, witnessed violence as two trains were vandalised, and railway stations, track, property and RPF vehicles were set on fire after Trinamool Congress and Congress members joined the protests. The vehicular movement was obstructed, prompting the state government to shut down internet services in some parts of West Bengal on Sunday.