India has issued a demarche to Turkey's ambassador to Delhi over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comment on last month's violence in the north-eastern parts of the Indian capital.
Stating that the situation in the violence-hit parts of Delhi is now returning to normal, the Indian External Affairs Ministry's spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the Turkish president’s comment is factually inaccurate and driven by his own political agenda.
“We do not expect such statements to come out from a head of state. We made a strong demarche with the Turkish ambassador here in Delhi on third of March on the statement”, Kumar said.
The northeast district of Delhi witnessed widespread violence on 24 and 25 February following clashes between two communities, which were triggered by stone-pelting between two groups opposing or favouring the amended citizenship law (CAA).
Last week, the Turkish president condemned the violence by saying that "India right now has become a country where massacres are widespread. What massacres? Massacres of Muslims. By whom? Hindus".
Following Erdogan's statement, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan also termed the violence in Delhi as “carnage of Muslims, state-sponsored terror through police and RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh) gangs is going to lead to radicalisation of the 200 million Indian Muslims”.
Urging people not to make any irresponsible comments, the Indian External Affairs Ministry's spokesperson Kumar asked not to be influenced by a selective and unsubstantiated narrative on the matter.
In the violence between anti and pro citizenship law protesters at least 52 people died and over 350 were injured, while many are still missing.
The new law grants citizenship to persecuted minorities, including Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians, Jains, and Buddhists from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Because the law excludes Muslims, it is being seen by some as part of an exercise to strip them of their Indian citizenship.
The government of India, however, has clarified that the amended law does not take away anyone's citizenship in India, but offers an opportunity for illegal immigrants persecuted in other countries to receive Indian nationality.