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Anti-CAA stir: Alert across states; entry to Mangaluru restricted

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 20, 2019 17:15 IST

Security forces were put on high alert on Friday in various parts of the country including in Kerala and Karanataka where protesters disrupted road and rail traffic after Thursday night's death of two persons in police firing during protests against the amended citizenship law, while mobile internet and SMS services were shut down in Uttar Pradesh which had also seen violent clashes.

IMAGE: Protesters gather near Charminar to demonstrate against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), in Hyderabad, on Friday. Photograph: PTI Photo

After a day of simultaneous anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in multiple cities, various groups have announced plans to continue their agitation including in the national capital while officials said additional security arrangements have been made in view of the Friday prayers.

 

Prohibitory orders were imposed in 12 police station areas of Northeast Delhi and police also carried out a flag march in the district which had witnessed violence during protests against the amended citizenship law three days ago, officials said.

But a massive protest broke out in the Jama Masjid area soon after the afternoon prayers, while Chandrashekhar Azad's Bhim Army also held a protest march despite denial of permission from police.

Bhim Army said police first tried to detain Azad at Jama Masjid itself and later near Daryaganj, but he managed to get away both the time.

Before giving the police a slip, he was heard raising slogans against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and also reading out the preamble of Indian Constitution.

 

The police also used drones to keep a tab on the law and order situation in the area, while Delhi Metro gates for some stations in the Old Delhi area were closed.

Joint Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar and Deputy Commissioner of Police Ved Prakash Surya were among senior officers who were present during the flag march.

Despite Internet curbs, travel restrictions and freezing cold, hundreds of people thronged the roads outside Jamia Milia Islamia continuing with their protest against CAA and the proposed nationwide NRC.

This was the fifth day of protests outside the university after over 50 students were injured in a police crackdown following violence during a demonstration on Sunday.

The protesters, including university students, locals and children, took out small marches carrying posters, banners and tricolours.

Some of them formed human chains on both the sides of the road to ensure that traffic movement was not affected.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation closed the gates of three more stations, including Jamia Millia Islamia, in anticipation of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

The other two stations are Jaffrabad and Maujpur-Babarpur in Seelampur, where large-scale violence and arson took place on Tuesday after protesters clashed with the police during a march against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

'Entry & exit gates of Jaffrabad and Maujpur-Babarpur are closed. Trains will not be halting at these stations,' the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) tweeted.

'Entry & exit gates of Jamia Millia Islamia are closed. Trains will not be halting at this station,' it said in another tweet minutes later.

The DMRC had earlier closed Delhi Gate, Chawri Bazar, Lal Quila and Jama Masjid stations. The total number of stations closed on Friday now stands at seven.

In the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, mobile internet and SMS services of all telecom operators remained suspended in Lucknow and various other places on orders from the government.

IMAGE: Police personnel stop a commuter as temporary barricades are set up during restrictions in view of protests against the CAA after Friday prayers, at Jamia Nagar, in New Delhi. Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo

A 25-year-old man was killed during violence in Lucknow, while protesters pelted stones at police and torched vehicles.

Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rehman Burq and hundreds others were booked for defying prohibitory orders and holding a meeting in Lucknow against the amended Citizenship Act a day earlier, police said on Friday.

As many as 25 people have been taken into custody and others are being identified with the help of video footage of arson and stone pelting, Superintendent of Police Yamuna Prasad said, adding the stringent NSA will be invoked against all those found involved in such acts.

A case has been lodged against Burq, former SP district unit president and hundreds of unnamed people for defying the prohibitory orders and holding the meeting here on Thursday, Prasad said.

Two state roadways buses were damaged and a police station was targeted with stones here on Thursday by the protesters opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel have been deployed at different points, the SP said, adding the situation is under control.

In Kerala also, police has also been directed to maintain high vigil in northern districts in the wake of the killing of two persons in police firing in Mangaluru in neighbouring Karnataka during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

In a Thursday night alert, state DGP D Loknath Behera instructed the force to be on high alert especially in the districts of Wayanad, Kozhikode, Kasaragod and Kannur, an official statement said.

A series of protest marches by different outfits and blocking of trains and buses were reported in various parts of Kerala past midnight after the news emerged about the deaths.

Anti-CAA protesters also blocked Karnataka RTC buses in some parts of Kozhikode and raised slogans against the Mangaluru police action.

IMAGE: Security personnel with anti-teargas masks standby during protests at Darya Ganj in New Delhi on Friday. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/PTI Photo

A large number of Congress workers blocked roads and burnt tyres in Kozhikode, while other activists blocked roads and burnt the effigy of Home Minister Amit Shah.

The Kerala Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has suspended bus services to Mangaluru.

State Transport Minister, A K Saseendran told reporters that the service would be resumed only after the situation there comes under control.

In Karnataka, police sources said protesters defying prohibitory orders attempted to lay siege to the Mangalore North police station and tried to attack police personnel, following which force was used to disperse them.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa appealed to people to stay away from 'vested interests' indulging in rumour mongering and assured his government's commitment to protect the rights of all citizens.

The Karnataka government had on Thursday night also ordered suspension of mobile internet data services for next 48 hours in Mangaluru City and Dakshina Kannada district.

Karnataka police have restricted entry to Mangaluru for those coming from Kerala.

Entry for those from Kerala to Managaluru was restricted at Thalappady border as police checked identity cards before allowing them in emergency cases.

At least 50 men and women who had arrived by a train from Kerala were taken into custody for trying to enter the city without identity cards.

Some mediapersons were detained for entering the Government Wenlock hospital where the post-mortem of those killed in the firing on Thursday was underway this morning.

IMAGE: Security personnel patrol a street during restrictions in view of protests after Friday prayers in Varanasi. Photograph: PTI Photo

The mediapersons' cameras and mobile phones were also seized.

Mangaluru is on high alert after Thursday's violence and public are advised not to move out of their houses, sources said.

On Thursday, two persons were killed in police firing in Managaluru after the protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act had turned violent.

Despite prohibitory orders demonstrations had turned violent in the city and police had clamped curfew in parts of Mangaluru until Friday night, and later extended it in the entire Mangaluru commissionerate limits till the midnight of December 22.

Police had said protesters tried to lay siege to the Mangalore North police station and attempted to attack the personnel, following which force was used to disperse them.

A delegation of senior Congress leaders who landed in the city to meet those injured and bereaved families of the two deceased during the violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act here were denied permission and detained at the airport in Mangaluru.

Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also had to cancel his trip to Mangaluru from Bengaluru on getting information that the chartered aircraft he was to take was denied permission to land at the airport.

The delegation included Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council S R Patil, former Home Minister and MLA M B Patil, former Speaker and MLA K R Ramesh Kumar and former MP V S Ugrappa.

Ugrappa and Ramesh Kumar engaged in heated arguments with officials, who tried to move them into a police vehicle.

Speaking to reporters, S R Patil called the government's act to 'stop them' as undemocratic and 'resembled Hitler rule'.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijyan on Friday strongly condemned the detention of journalists from the state in Karnataka and said the onslaught on media freedom was a 'fascist mindset'.

'I strongly condemn the attempt to portray journalists as troublemakers and their news gathering equipment as weapons. Onslaught on media freedom is a fascist mindset. There must be strong public sentiment against this,' Vijayan said in a statement.

He also said the state government would make all efforts to ensure the safety of journalists from Kerala travelling to Mangaluru for reporting.

Earlier, State Director General Police Loknath Behara told the media that he spoke to his Karnataka counterpart asking the official to ensure the release of the journalists detained.

IMAGE: Protesters hold placards during a demonstration against CAA at Jamia Nagar in New Delhi, on Friday. Photograph: Ravi Choudhary/PTI Photo

"I spoke to the DGP of Karnataka in the morning and she assured me that actually all these people will be released as soon as we give them their names. I have requested for their safety. Not only journalists from Kerala, but those from other states have also been detained. They are confirming the identities of the journalists and release them," the top police official said.

Police in Karnataka have detained some Kerala-based media persons early on Friday in front of Government Wenlock hospital, where the post-mortem of the two deceased was underway.

Their cameras and mobile phones were also seized.

"The media persons detained in Mangaluru are well-known in Kerala. Still one particular channel here was reporting that fake journalists were arrested. How can they do that?" a senior journalist, who requested anonymity asked.

However, news channels in Karnataka withdrew their story.

Meanwhile, over 150 journalists from various media houses in the state capital braved rains and protested the controversial CAA and the arrest of their colleagues in Mangaluru.

However, mobile internet service resumed in Assam, 10 days after it was banned during protests against the new law.

The Gauhati high court had directed the Assam government to restore mobile internet service by 5 pm on Thursday.

In the national capital, Delhi Police denied permission to Bhim Army to take out a protest march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar against the new law.

The march was expected to see participation of students from Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Millia Islamia.

Prohibitory orders under Code of Criminal Procedure Section 144 are in place near the Red Fort area since Thursday, prohibiting assembly of four or more people.

Thousands of students, activists and opposition leaders had hit the streets in the national capital on Thursday, defying heavy security clampdown and prohibitory orders even as authorities suspended mobile internet services and restricted traffic movement to quell the swirling agitation.

In Aligarh, a red alert was sounded and the city has been put under a heavy security cover in view of the first Friday prayers since the police crackdown on the students of Aligarh Muslim University protesting the new law earlier this week.

Internet services remained suspended for the fifth consecutive day while banking services and businesses have been badly hit.

IMAGE: Members of All Assam Lawyers Association take part in Raj Bhawan Chalo protest rally against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, in Guwahati, on Friday. Photograph: PTI Photo

The city has been witnessing continued demonstrations for the past few days, with the situation turning violent on Sunday when hundreds of Aligarh Muslim University students protesting the amended Citizenship Act clashed with the police at a campus gate, leaving 60 injured.

Teachers from AMU took out a protest march on Thursday while shopkeepers in some areas of the city briefly downed shutters in support.

The situation in West Bengal was largely peaceful with no fresh incident of violence, but vigil has been stepped up by the police in several parts of the state to prevent any untoward incident during religious gathering for Friday prayers.

In Gujarat, a Congress corporator and 48 others were arrested in Ahmedabad on Friday for attack on police personnel during a protest in the city, officials said.

The protest in Shah-e-Alam area of the city on Thursday turned violent forcing the police to lob teargas shells to disperse around 5,000 protesters.

26 police personnel were injured after a mob resorted to stone pelting during the protest.

Congress corporator Shehzad Khan Pathan had provoked the mob, the police claimed.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Bipin Ahire, ACP R B Rana and J M Solanki an inspector posted at Isanpur police station were among the 26 policemen injured in the stone pelting, they said.

"We have registered an FIR against 5,000 people. While 50 were named in the case, 49, including Congress corporator Shehzad Khan Pathan, were arrested on Friday.

"They have been booked for attempt to murder, rioting and assaulting police," Solanki, who has suffered injuries on his head, said.

He added that the Congress corporator was detained on Thursday and arrested on Friday.

"When we were taking Pathan away in our vehicle yesterday, he asked the locals to take revenge and not spare any policeman. His provocation led to the attack on the police," Solanki alleged.

He added that the situation in the area was under control.

A video clip telecast by a local news channel purportedly showed agitators hurling stones at police vehicles. In the footage, some policemen could be seen taking cover behind police vehicles to save themselves.

Another video purportedly showed some people thrashing a police personnel who fell down from a moving police bus.

Alp-Sankhyak Adhikar Manch, an organisation working for the minority communities, had given a call for bandh in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

In Chennai, more than 600 people were booked for staging a protest against CAA, police said on Friday.

Scores of people from different walks of life took part in the protest demonstration at Valluvarkottam on Thursday.

The demonstration, organised by a collective of civil society members, Left liberals and volunteers of outfits including the Jamaat-E-Islami Hind and NGOs saw high pitched slogans against the BJP-led Centre, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and Hindutva.

Cases have been registered against them under Indian Penal Code 143 and Section 41 Class VI.

"Yes, cases have been booked under Indian Penal Code Section 143 and (under) Section 41 Class VI," a senior police officer told PTI.

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