Hundreds of Aligarh Muslim University students and teachers organised separate protest marches on Friday and handed over two memorandums to authorities, demanding immediate withdrawal of the amendments made to the Citizenship Act.
The district administration has blocked internet services in Aligarh district since midnight in view of the protests planned against the amended Citizenship Act and to ensure peace and order.
It had denied permission to Bahujan Samaj Party leader and Mayor Furqaan Ali, who wanted to hold a protest against the passage of the citizenship bill in Parliament, District Magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh said.
On the campus, hundreds of AMU students took out a march and handed over a memorandum to the district magistrate addressed to the Chief Justice of India, urging him to protect the Constitution since the Parliament has already passed the bill, which they said was a blow to the unity of the country.
The memorandum states that the amended act has made religion the basis of citizenship and would deprive millions of Muslims their right to citizenship.
The protest was marked by high drama.
For over two hours, the district and university authorities managed to stop the students from moving beyond the Bab-e-Syed gate but there was no use of force.
The authorities had made it clear that protestors would not be allowed to proceed outside the campus.
"We had made it amply clear that the protestors would not be allowed to cross the boundary of the campus as it would pose law and order problem," the district magistrate said.
The university proctor Afifullah Khan said both the university and district authorities along with senior members of the teaching staff played a commendable role in ensuring that the protest remained peaceful.
Later, the university teachers' association AMUTA also held a march and handed over a memorandum, addressed to the prime minister, to the authorities, saying, "We urge the president, prime minister, the chief justice of India to take necessary steps to withdraw Citizenship Act and proposal for NRC as they run counter to India's rich history of pluralism and guarantee of equality before law."
The memorandum also says, "We want to see the nation strong and vibrant and this can only be achieved if justice and merit are protected."
AMUTA Secretary Prof Najmul Islam said the AMU community was 'shocked and in agony' because of the alleged violation of the Constitution under the above citizenship law.
The district administration had made elaborate security arrangements in view of the call for protests given by teachers' association and students.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Parminder Singh had said no protester would be allowed to move out of the campus.
At an emergency meeting on Wednesday, AMUTA had described the passage of the citizenship bill in Parliament as one of the 'darkest days' in the history of Independent India.