New Delhi: Controversial BJP MP Satish Gautam on Sunday targeted Sumaiya Rana, daughter of known poet Munawwar Rana, for her comments at an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest, saying that she was free to go to Pakistan if she felt ‘suffocated in India.’

Notably, Sumaiya Rana, along with her sister Faujia, was among 150 people booked for an anti-CAA protest in Lucknow’s iconic Ghantaghar last month. Speaking at an anti-CAA protest in Aligarh recently, she had said, “The environment in the country right now is vitriolic and it is suffocating to live in such conditions.”

Responding to this remark, Gautam, the BJP’s Lok Sabha MP from Aligarh said, “If she feels suffocated in the country, then there are a lot of paths open for her to go to Pakistan.” He further said that in India, one could speak openly with freedom.

In May 2018, it was Gautam who raked up the issue of a portrait of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the students’ union hall of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

The CAA, which became law last month, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to religious minorities, except Muslims, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who came to India before December 31, 2014.

The protesters, despite the government’s assurance, fear that in combination with the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), the CAA would render them stateless and are hence staging protests across the country demanding the withdrawal of the two contentious legislations.