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2 killed in Karnataka; anti-CAA protests grip India

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 19, 2019 22:59 IST

From Mumbai to Mangaluru and Delhi to Kolkata, simultaneous protests raged in India, defying prohibitory orders to voice dissent against the new citizenship law.

IMAGE: Police personnel baton charge at protesters during their rally against NRC and amended Citizenship Act that turned violent, in Lucknow. Photograph: PTI Photo

Simultaneous protests raged in multiple cities on Thursday with thousands-strong crowds of students, activists and others defying prohibitory orders to voice their dissent against the new citizenship law, resulting in violence in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, where two people were killed in police firing.

 

Besides, the two deaths in Mangaluru, a 25-year-old man died of firearm injury which he suffered while passing by a violent protest in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, but police claimed that the death was not linked to the agitation or any police action.

Curfew was imposed in Mangaluru where thousands of protesters ran amok.

IMAGE: Police personnel fire tear gas shells during their clash with the protestors participating in a rally against the amended Citizenship Act and NRC, in Mangaluru. Photograph: PTI Photo

Authorities resorted to barricading and clampdown on mobile services, including an unprecedented one in the national capital, while protesters also faced tear gas shelling and police batons at some places including in Uttar Pradesh where incidents of arson and stone pelting gave the protests a violent colour.

WATCH: Protesters in Mumbai at August Kranti Maidan

 

Opposition parties also joined forces to attack the Modi government on the new law which they said goes against the "idea of India", even as the ruling BJP asserted there would be no rethink on implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and that the National Register of Citizens would also be brought in.

IMAGE: Police personnel baton charge at protestors during a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Mangaluru. Photograph: PTI Photo

Protests remained largely peaceful at most places with the agitators depending on slogans and placards to express their opposition to the new law and what they called 'barbaric police action' against students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University. Some groups of protesters in Delhi also offered roses to policemen, saying love is their only answer even for tear gas shells and batons.

In the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, where violent clashes saw at least a dozen vehicles including bikes, being set afire, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said those who damaged public property would have to pay for it and the culprits have been identified through video and CCTV footage.

IMAGE: Swaraj Abhiyan founder and activist Yogendra Yadav is detained by police for defying prohibitory orders imposed by the Delhi Police in the area during an anti-Citizenship Act protest, at Red Fort, in New Delhi, on Thursday. Photograph: PTI Photo

"We will take revenge" by auctioning their property to compensate for the losses, he said.

There were incidents of stone pelting and arson in Bihar as well, while rail and road traffic was hit in several states.

IMAGE: Left leaders D Raja, Sitaram Yechury, Nilotpal Basu, Brinda Karat and others raise slogans during an anti-Citizenship Act protest, at Red Fort, in New Delhi, on Thursday. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo

Barricades by police in and around the national capital, closing of Delhi Metro gates at several stations and an unprecedented suspension of mobile voice, messaging and internet services in parts of Delhi added to woes of the public.

Left leaders Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, Nilotpal Basu and Brinda Karat, activist Yogendra Yadav and historian Ramachandra Guha were among those who were detained in various parts of the country for taking part in the anti-citizenship law stirs for defying prohibitory orders.

The law has been amended to enable grant of speedier citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they had to leave their respective countries due to religious persecution.

IMAGE: Protesters detained by police for defying prohibitory orders imposed by the Delhi Police in the area near Red Fort in New Delhi on Thursday. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo

"India today has the ignominy of being the largest internet shutdown in the world. It is unacceptable. Metro stations were closed. This is worse than what we saw during the Emergency. The manner in which they are dealing with democratic protests is unacceptable," Yechury said.

CrPC section 144 was imposed by Delhi Police in Red Fort area, but that did not deter scores of students and activists from converging there to raise their voice against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the police crackdown in JMI and AMU.

WATCH: Karnataka police detains historian Ramchandra Guha

 

The agitators were put into buses in a bid to clear the Red Fort area. Holding placards and shouting slogans, the protesters allowed themselves to be escorted to the buses.

"We are requesting the protesters to please apply for the designated place for the protest. In the non-designated places, public face problems and many emergency services get affected," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa said, while urging people to cooperate.

A large number of protesters converged near Sunehri Masjid in Old Delhi, after being pushed back by police from the historic Red Fort. They were heard raising slogans of 'Hum Honge Kamyaab', 'Inquilab Zindabad' filled the air.

IMAGE: Noted historian Ramachandra Guha being detained by police during a protest against an amended Citizenship Bill, at Town Hall in Bengaluru. Photograph: PTI Photo

Slogans of 'CAA Se Azaadi and NRC Se Azaadi' were also raised by the crowd, which included locals from Old Delhi and East Delhi and a large number of students.

A large number of protesters gathered at the Jantar Mantar as well.

IMAGE: Demonstrators hold placards during a protest against a new citizenship law, in Mumbai. Photograph: Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters

Several companies in the NCR region also asked their employees to work from home and cautioned them against joining demonstrations.

Guha, who was detained in Bengaluru for defying prohibitory orders, said it was "absolutely undemocratic" that police were not allowing even a peaceful protest, which is the democratic right of citizens.

The Communist Party of India too staged demonstrations in Bengaluru against the citizenship law and the proposed nation-wide NRC.

IMAGE: Protesters gathered at Mumbai's August Kranti Maidan to protest the CAA. Photograph: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

Protests were also held at several other places in the state, including in Hubballi, Kalaburagi, Hassan, Mysuru and Ballary where police detained demonstrators who violated prohibitory orders.

In Mangaluru, vehicles were set on fire and stones hurled at police personnel as protesters allegedly went on the rampage.

WATCH: Gujarat Police lathi-charge protesters in Ahmedabad

 

Some protesters attempted to lay siege to the Mangalore North police station and tried to attack police personnel, following which force was used to disperse them. Two persons received bullet injuries in police firing and they later succumbed at a hospital, police confirmed.

IMAGE: The gathering included workers of political parties, students and also a smattering of Bollywood personalities, who made out a strong case against the act and the National Register of Citizens. Photograph: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

The deceased were identified as Jaleel Kudroli (49) and Nausheen (23).

In UP, while a state transport bus was set on fire in Sambhal area of the state, while violent protests broke out in capital Lucknow too when a mob pelted stones and torched vehicles parked outside a police post.

DGP O P Singh said police had to fire teargas shells to control the situation in Madeyganj area, while nearly 20 people have been taken into custody.

IMAGE: Protesters shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. "Tanashahi nahi chalegi (dictatorship won't work) during the Mumbai protests. Photograph: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

The opposition Samajwadi Party and Congress legislators held their protest at the legislative assembly complex in Lucknow.

AMU teachers held a silent march opposing the new law in Aligarh.

"We feel that we are fighting for the idea of India as envisaged by the founding fathers of the nation. This is not a struggle for the rights of any particular community," AMU Teachers Association secretary, Professor Najmul Islam said.

IMAGE: Two protests were scheduled in the national capital, one by students and activists and the other by Left parties. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo

Hundreds of AMU students protesting against the amended Citizenship Act clashed with police on Sunday at a campus gate, leaving 60 injured. After the protest, the adminstration had announced closure of the university till January 5.

In Bihar, members of Left-wing student organisations squatted on railway tracks at Rajendra Nagar Terminus early in the morning, while hundreds of activists of Jan Adhikar Party, floated by controversial ex-MP Pappu Yadav, burnt tyres on an adjacent road.

IMAGE: Police personnel pelt stones during their clash with the protesters participating in a rally against the amended Citizenship Act and NRC in Mangaluru. Photograph: PTI Photo

They also vandalised an ambulance which tried to make its way through the road and head towards a residential locality nearby. In Jehanabad, which had been a stronghold of the ultra-Left movement in Bihar, CPI-ML activists disrupted traffic on national highways.

IMAGE: Jan Adhikar Party workers vandalise a vehicle during Bihar Bandh against the NRC and Citizenship Amendment Act, in Patna. Photograph: PTI Photo

In Maharashtra, the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and various other parties came together under a front called 'Hum Bharat Ke Log' for a protest rally at Mumbai's August Kranti Maidan, the place where in 1942 Mahatma Gandhi told the then British rulers to quit India.

Noted freedom fighter G G Parikh, 94, who participated in the Quit India movement in 1942, was present at the Maidan.

IMAGE: Vikassheel Insaan Party president Mukesh Sahni and his supporters block a railway track at Rajendra Nagar Terminal during a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Register for Citizens and crime against women in the state during Bihar Bandh in Patna. Photograph: PTI Photo

"The Constitution, drafted by Dr B R Ambedkar, is being violated and is under attack. This is the reason that the entire country has chosen this day to condemn the unconstitutional and divisive laws of the BJP government," the front said.

The rally saw thousands of people, including workers of political parties, students, professionals and also a smattering of Bollywood personalities, who made a strong case against the Act and the NRC. However, Maharashtra's ruling alliance partner Shiv Sena kept itself out of the rally.

IMAGE: Jan Adhikar Party Chief Pappu Yadav with supporters protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register for Citizens and rise in the incidents of crime against women in the state during Bihar bandh. Photograph: PTI Photo

Protests in West Bengal, Assam and Meghalaya, which were at the centre of the stir initially, were largely peaceful. Protests were also held in Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, Jammu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, among other states.

At a rally in Kolkata, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dared the Modi government to go for a UN-monitored referendum over the amended law and the proposed nationwide NRC and said the BJP will have to quit if it fails such a "mass vote".

IMAGE: A vehicle torched allegedly by protesters during a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Act at Madeyganj outpost in Lucknow. Photograph: Nand Kumar/PTI Photo

Two persons were arrested for hurling crude bombs on a group of anti-CAA protesters in West Bengal's North Dinajpur district, police said.

At some places, including in the national capital and Mumbai, pro-CAA demonstrations were also held by some groups of people.

 

IMAGE: Traffic Jam on the Delhi-Gurugram expressway due to protests, in Gurugram. Police have placed barricades and are checking vehicles coming from Gurugram to Delhi due to which the traffic is affected on the stretch. Photograph: PTI Photo

IMAGE: A protester being detained by police personnel as he defies the prohibitory orders imposed in the area, during a rally against the amended Citizenship Act, in Bengaluru. Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI Photo
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