New Delhi: Amid the ongoing protests against the contentious Citizenship Act, a Union Minister on Tuesday made a controversial remark, saying those destroying public property, including the railway property, must be shot at sight.

“…I strictly warn concerned dist admn & railway authorities, if anybody destroys public property, including railway, I direct as a Minister, shoot them at sight,” news agency ANI reported Union Minister of State of Railways, Suresh Angadi, as saying.

The minister’s statement comes at a time when the country is witnessing widespread protests by students and others against the Citizenship Law. As per the Citizenship Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, and facing religious persecution will be given Indian citizenship.

“If anybody throws at that time government should take stringent action like Vallabhbhai Patel. Local minorities, some communities are unnecessarily creating problems to destabilise the country’s economy,” he added.