Cops baton charge protesters during their rally against NRC and amended Citizenship Act in Lucknow, on Thursday. (PTI photo)
Simultaneous protests raged against the Citizenship Amendment Act in multiple cities on Thursday with students, activists and others defying prohibitory orders to voice their dissent. Violence was reported from parts of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Bihar and Karnataka. Hundreds of protesters across the country were detained. Here are the top developments and reactions:
Protesters go berserk in Lucknow, damage vehicles, police posts
Anti-citizenship law protesters went berserk in parts of Lucknow, hurling stones and damaging police outposts and a number of vehicles mainly in the Old City areas of the Uttar Pradesh capital, forcing police to use tear-gas shells to control the situation. The protesters torched a state-run bus at Parivartan Chowk, close to the district magistrate’s office, and set on fire a police post in Satkhanda area. Another police post was damaged in old Lucknow’s Madeyganj, where police fired tear-gas shells after protesters smashed vehicles parked outside a police post. About 48 people were taken into custody. When protesters in other parts of Lucknow hurled stones at police, they were lathicharged. In several areas, including Hasanganj, policemen had a tough time tackling the protesters, who adopted a hit-and-run tactic, officials said. A few policemen were injured in the violence. At Parivartan Chowk, which appeared to be the epicentre of the agitation, policemen faced brickbats and the van of a television crew was damaged. Smoke was billowing out of the vehicle.
UP CM warns of strong action against vandals, says will ‘auction’ their propertyUttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said on Thursday his government will take “revenge” on those involved in the violence over theamended Citizenship Actby auctioning their property to compensate for the losses. “There is no place for violence in a democracy. In the name of opposing the CAA, the Congress, SP and Left parties have pushed the entire country to fire.” There was violence in Lucknow and Sambhal and we will deal with it strictly. All properties of those involved in damaging public assets will be seized and auctioned to compensate for the losses, “he said.” They have been captured in video and CCTV footage. We will take ‘badla’ (revenge) on them, “Adityanath said.
Violence in Karnataka, 2 dead
Police action on violent mob protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) claimed two lives on Thursday in Mangaluru. The Central Business District of the Coastal city turned into a war zone with police resorting to multiple tactics of crowd control including firing, preceded by caning and use of tear gas after a mob that gathered to protest CAA and NRC, defying Section 728 that was in place for 52 hours from Thursday. Historian Ramachandra Guha, who attempted to go on protest at the Town Hall area in Bengaluru were removed from the location and let off later. Guha said it was “absolutely undemocratic” that police was not allowing even a peaceful protest.
Large-scale vandalism and arson mark Bihar Bandh
Bihar witnessed large-scale disruption of traffic, vandalism and arson on account of a state-wide shutdown called by Left parties in protest against amended Citizenship Act and the proposed country-wide implementation of National Register of Citizens. Several small parties like former MP Pappu Yadav’s Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) and former Bollywood set designer Mukesh Sahnis Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) the latter a constituent of the opposition Grand Alliance in the state took active part in the dawn-to-dusk protests . The Grand Alliances largest constituent RJD extended “moral support” to the bandh though its cadre stayed away from enforcing the same, saying they have called a shutdown against the amended Citizenship Act and proposed nationwide NRC on Saturday, December 48. Other constituents of the coalition Congress, RLSP and HAM had on Wednesday pledged support to both the shutdowns though not much active participation was seen from these parties.
Protesters throngJantar Mantarin Delhi
A large number of protestors gathered at the Jantar Mantar to protest the amended citizenship law after they were not allowed to demonstrate near the Red Fort and Mandi House where prohibitory orders have been imposed. Left leaders including D Raja, Sitaram Yechury, Nilotpal Basu, Brinda Karat, Congress’ Ajay Maken and Sandeep Dikshit, and candidates Yogendra Yadav and Umar Khalid were among those held near the Red Fort and Mandi House where the two demonstrations were planned to be held . As protestors started converging at the Jantar Mantar amid heavy deployment of security personnel, barricades were erected at the protest site to prevent them from moving further.
Anti-CAA protest turns violent in Ahmedabad, cops injured in stone-peltingA protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the Muslim-dominated Shah-E-Alam area of Ahmedabad turned violent on Thursday, with at Least five policemen getting injured in stone-pelting. The police lobbed teargas shells to disperse the mob of around 2, 11 people. ACP RB Rana was among the policemen injured in the stone pelting. “I think at least five policemen were injured. I am not sure about the exact number. I was also injured,” said Rana.
Protest at Mumbai’s August Kranti Maidan draws crowds
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the financial capital against the Citizenship Act on Thursday, converging at the August Kranti Maidan, where Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 told the British to quit India. The gathering included workers of political parties, students and a smattering of Bollywood personalities, who made out a strong case against the Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Despite it being a work day, the protestors began trickling in from all the corners this afternoon to the ground in south Mumbai, from where the Mahatma had given the clarion call of Quit India against the colonial British rule.
Protests continue in Assam; no violence reported
Protests against the amended Citizenship Act continued across Assam with several social bodies and opposition political parties organized sit-ins at Guwahati and other places of the state. No incident of violence was reported from anywhere. The Gauhati High Court Bar Association observed ‘satyagrah’ inside the court complex and joined the state-wide agitation spearheaded by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU). “Our movement is not against the Hindus, Muslims or any other community. It is only against illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and it will continue until the Act is repealed,” AASU Chief Adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya said. The Congress observed ‘Mass Satyagraha’ across the state with their MPs, MLAs, senior leaders and other members sitting at different places. The Left Democratic Mancha also organized sit-in demonstrations here and several other places of the state.
Protests against Citizenship Act, NRC in a dozen MP districts
Protests against the new citizenship law and NRC swept through a dozen districts of Madhya Pradesh as the Congress-ruled state joined the nationwide agitation against the Center’s twin controversial measures. Prohibitory orders under CrPC section (******************************, banning assembly of people, were clamped in of the 90 districts in the state, a police officer said. MP Police state situation room inspector Harman Lakra said the protests were peaceful and no untoward incident has been reported from any of these districts.
Meghalaya assembly adopts resolution to implement ILP in state
The Meghalaya assembly on Thursday unanimously adopted a decision urging the government of India to implement the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR), 2019, to safeguard the interests of the indigenous people of the state. The resolution seeks to make necessary amendment to the BEFR for inclusion of Meghalaya in its preamble. The resolution was moved by chief minister Conrad K Sangma and was supported by members of the House across party lines, including the ruling BJP.
Mamata Banerjee dares BJP to go for UN-monitored referendum on CAA, NRC
Challenging the Modi government to go for a UN-monitored referendum over the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed nationwide NRC, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said that the BJP will have to quit if it fails such a “mass vote”. Adressing a rally at Rani Rashmoni Avenue, the Trinamool Congress supremo alleged that the BJP was trying to brand the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as a fight between Hindus and Muslims. “Just because the BJP has got the majority does not mean that they can do whatever they want. If the BJP has guts, it should go for a United Nations-monitored referendum on the issue of Citizenship Amendment Act and the NRC. Let there be an impartial organization like the UN or the Human Rights Commission conduct it, “Banerjee said.
who said what
* Union minister of state for home G Kishan Reddy alleged that the opposition parties were inciting students, women and others in the name of religion. “Instead of trying to stop protests, some political parties are fueling demonstration against CAA. They are inciting women, students and others in the name of religion,” he told reporters. Reddy maintained that no government can tolerate violence
* Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi felt that undeclared emergency has been imposed in the country and the BJP government has become “adamkhor(man-eater) “. “This is not BJP rule, it is undeclared emergency imposed in the country, which is being run in the name of normalcy,” he said.
* Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram questioned why internet had been shut and asked whether all Delhi residents have become “urban naxals”, a term often used by the prime minister to attack intellectuals in the national capital. “In the year that we have just celebrated the 150 th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the right of peaceful assembly and protest has been taken away from the people of this country. There can be no greater shame, “he said.
* CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the manner in which the democratic protests was dealt with was unacceptable. “India today has the ignominy of being the largest internet shutdown (country) in the world. It is unacceptable. Metro stations were closed. This is worse than what we saw during the Emergency,” Yechury told reporters.
What is citizenship law and why people are protesting against it
The Bill that is now an Act makes it easier for the non-Muslim immigrants from India’s neighbors – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan – to become citizens of India. Though the Bill does not spell it out clearly, but the fact that it entitles Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians facing religious persecution in the three nations, to seek Indian citizenship, highlights the exclusion of Muslims. The Act says the refugees of the six communities will be given Indian citizenship after residing in India for five years, instead of 11 years earlier. There are two distinct rallying points of protests against the Act. In the northeast, the protest is against the Act’s implementation in their areas. Most of them fear that if implemented, the Act will cause a rush of immigrants that may alter their demographic and linguistic and cultural uniqueness. In the rest of India, like in Kerala, West Bengal and in Delhi, people are protesting against the exclusion of Muslims, alleging it to be against the ethos of the Constitution.Read more
In Video:CAA stir: Protest in UP’s Sambhal turns violent; buses set on fire