After US President Donald Trump concluded his two-day visit to India, his “great friend” Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to have finally woken up to the violence which has swept parts of the capital since Sunday.
In his first reaction to the riots in northeast Delhi, Modi on Wednesday appealed for “peace and brotherhood” and said he reviewed the situation prevailing in various parts of the city.
The situation has been tense in northeast Delhi since Sunday when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishra led a rally in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Maujpur. Clashes erupted in Jaffrabad, Maujpur, Chandbagh, Khureji Khas and Bhajanpura and at least 21 people have died.
While the violence continued, the Prime Minister was busy hosting Trump. Both the leaders visited the Sabarmati Ashram on Monday and addressed the ‘Namaste Trump’ event at Motera stadium in Ahmedabad.
On Tuesday, Modi and Trump met at the Hyderabad House in Delhi and issued a joint statement. The US President later held a press conference, but refused to comment on the Citizenship Amendment Act.
In reply to a question, Trump said issues involving the CAA are up to India.
“We did talk about religious freedom. Prime Minister Modi wants people to have religious freedom in India...If you look back India has worked hard for religious freedom,” Trump said, according to PTI.
On CAA, he said, “I don’t want to say anything on CAA. It is up to India. I hope it will take the right decision for its people.”
Asked if he discussed the incidents of violence taking place during his visit, he said he didn’t discuss individual attacks and that it “is up to India” to deal with it.
Several foreign media outlets noted how Trump evaded questions about the CAA. The New York Times also said that Trump and Modi “carried on with sightseeing and meetings, seemingly unaffected as the tension and protests that have roiled the capital over Mr. Modi’s Hindu-first policies exploded into rioting and gang fighting”.
(With PTI inputs)