New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday criticised those who damaged public property during protests in Uttar Pradesh against the amended Citizenship Act, saying they should understand that rights and duties go hand in hand.
“They (the vandals) should ask themselves: was it right? Whatever was torched, was it not of their child’s use? What has happened to those common people and policemen who got injured?” Modi asked, adding he wanted to tell those who damaged public property “not to forget that rights and duties go hand in hand”.
“People who damaged public property and were involved in violence in the name of protest in UP should introspect if what they did was right,” he said. “Better roads, transport and sewers are our rights, but it’s our duty to protect them. Quality education is our right, but safety of educational institutions and respect for teachers are our duties. A secure atmosphere is our right, but it’s also the duty of citizens to respect the work of police.
More than 15 people were killed, 263 police personnel injured, and state-owned property damaged in violence during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in several Uttar Pradesh districts.
Modi was addressing a gathering after unveiling a statue of Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the Lok Bhawan in Lucknow on the former prime minister’s birth anniversary. Modi also laid the foundation stone for the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Medical University in the state capital.
Referring to Article 370, Modi said it was an “old disease” that has now been resolved peacefully.
“How old a disease was Article 370, how difficult it appeared… but it was our responsibility as to how to face such difficult challenges. And it was done easily. ‘Sabki dhaarna ye choor choor ho gaya’ (everyone’s perception was smashed),” he said.
The Ram Janmabhoomi issue was also resolved peacefully, said Modi.
On the CAA, Modi said giving citizenship to those who came to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to “save the dignity of their daughters” was another problem whose solution was found by 130 crore Indians.
“With this self-confidence, Hindustanis are entering a new decade. Whatever is left to be done, all Indians are trying to find a solution,” he said.
However big the challenge may be, “it is in our nature to challenge the challenge”, he said.
Modi said the road map to better health care was based on four points — preventive health care, affordable health care, supply-side intervention, and mission-mode intervention. He also highlighted the schemes of his government towards this direction.
On the medical university, Modi said it will provide affiliation to government, semi-government and private colleges, and help in improving the quality of medical education in UP. UP Governor Anandiben Patel received Modi.
Defence Minister and Lucknow MP Rajnath Singh welcomed Modi on behalf of the people and thanked Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for installing the grand statue of Vajpayee.
“His (Atal ji’s) memories are alive within us. He influenced not only the people of the country but people world over. Jawaharlal Nehru had once said he (Vajpayee) will become PM one day. He was the person who only thought about national interest,” Singh said.
(With inputs from agencies)