New Delhi: Reacting to the violent protests raging around the country over Citizenship Amendment Act, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said such protests were ‘deeply distressing’ and not in line with ‘our ethos’.

In a series of tweets, the PM expressed sadness over damage to public property and the disturbance of normal life, in the wake of the protests.

In his first reaction to the protests Modi wrote on Twitter, “Debate, discussion and dissent are essential parts of democracy but, never has damage to public property and disturbance of normal life been a part of our ethos.”

He defended the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, saying that it was passed by both Houses of Parliament with overwhelming support and large number of political parties and MPs supported its passage.

The Prime Minister then went on to appeal citizens to stay away from rumour-mongering and falsehoods on Citizenship Amendment Act and assured them that the act does not affect any citizen of India of any religion.

He further urged Indians to work together for development of the country and not allow vested interests group to create a divide in society.

Meanwhile, protests against the contentious citizenship act refuses to die down as students from universities across India have come together to protest against it and launched agitations against police brutality.

Opposition parties have also slammed the central government for the police action against protesters at Jamia and Aligarh Muslim University and called it an ‘attempt to stifle debate and dissent at the universities’.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and CPI’s D Raja at a press conference condemned the police action on Sunday against Jamia students who were protesting against the new citizenship amendment law. “How could the police enter Jamia and unleash such brutality on the students when the university authorities did not allow the police to enter it?” Azad asked.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too hit the streets in Kolkata on Monday launching a mega rally with tens of thousands of supporters and party workers to oppose the Centre’s decision