Give cops free rein to get rid of infiltrators: Raj Thackeray

The Asian Age.

Metros, Mumbai

MNS chief warns of befitting reply to anti-CAA rallies.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray waves as he joins party workers in the rally. Over the past two months India has been witnessing continuing protests against the new citizenship law. (Photo: Debasish Dey)

Mumbai: Reiterating his support to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has appealed to the Central government to give a ‘freehand’ to the Mumbai police for 48 hours to evict infiltrators.

“My country is not a ‘dharamshala’ (charity shelter), wherein anyone can come and stay. The Pakistani and Bangladeshi infiltrators should be evicted from the country. There is no point in expecting this from the state government. Hence, I appeal the Centre to give a freehand to the police for 48 hours to evict infiltrators,” said Mr Thackeray while addressing a rally at Azad Maidan on Sunday.

The MNS organised a huge march from Girgaum Chowpatty to Azad Maidan, demanding eviction of illegal Pakistani and Bangladeshi infiltrators from the country.

The protest march culminated at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai. Mr Thackeray joined the march on foot from Hindu Gymkhana to Metro Junction, a distance of about one km.

His wife Sharmila and son Amit, who recently made his political debut, also participated in the programme.

Later speaking at the rally, Mr Thackeray warned of a ‘befitting reply’ to rallies being held against the CAA and the NRC.

“Our rally has given a befitting reply to the anti-CAA and anti-NRC protests. But next time, morchas will be answered with morchas. And if you continue with your drama, stones will be answered with stones and swords with swords,” he warned.

Mr Thackeray also questioned the ‘opposition’ of the Muslim community to the CAA and the NRC. “I don't understand why Muslims are protesting against the CAA and the NRC. Who is going to evict those who are living in India since their birth? To whom are you trying to show your power, and why?” he asked.

Mr Thackeray blamed the ongoing protests against the CAA and the NRC on the “lack of proper understanding” of the issues. “The CAA gives citizenship to those Hindus who have faced religious atrocities in neighbouring countries (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and migrated to India),” he said.

“Do you (illegal immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh) consider my county a 'Dharamshala' (charity shelter)?, the MNS chief questioned while speaking on the issue of NRC.

Moreover, in a bid to take the middle path, he also questioned the BJP on the intention behind the introduction of the CAA.

He wondered whether the Union government enacted it as a “ploy to divert the attention of people from the poor financial situation prevailing”.