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Anti-CAA protests continue across country, cops maintain vigil

Source: PTI
December 22, 2019 23:49 IST

IMAGE: Protesters hold placards demanding withdrawal of CAA, in New Delhi, on Sunday. Photograph: Shahbaz Khan/PTI Photo

On a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally in the national capital, a number of protests against the amended Citizenship Act were held in New Delhi even as police maintained a strict vigil and carried out flag march in sensitive areas.

A large number of people took out a 'solidarity march' in South Delhi on Sunday in support of Jamia Millia Islamia students and those facing police action during protests against the contentious law.

Holding placards, people shouted 'Inquilab Zindabad' and demanded scrapping of the law during the march in Alaknanda area. A group of Jamia students also participated in the protest.

 

Although the Delhi Police made elaborate arrangements to ensure that there was no protest around the Ramila Ground where Prime Minister Modi addressed rally, areas like Jantar Mantar, Jamia Millia, Nizammudin, and Connaught Place witnessed multiple peaceful demonstrations.

In view of several violent protests against the CAA in the city in the last few days, a group of AIIMS doctors has decided to provide immediate medical attention to those injured during clashes with police personnel.

"We will run two ambulances with doctors to provide medical facility to those protesters injured in the violent protest," Dr Ajay Verma, a psychiatrist of All India Institute Medical Sciences, said.

Members of the LGBT community also hit the streets, voicing opposition against the CAA and NRC at the Jantar Mantar and expressed concern that a countrywide National Register of Citizens will lead to 'exclusion' of most of them.

Rituparna Borah, who hails from Assam's Lakhimpur district, said it's very difficult for the queer community to get necessary documents.

"What if my parents throw me out of the house. People elope, leave their house because of violence. In such a situation, all they have is an Aadhaar card.

In Seelampur, which was rocked by violent protests against the new legislation, and neighbouring areas, the Delhi Police and paramilitary personnel again carried out flag march.

Besides the Delhi Police, Rapid Action Force has also been deployed in the area as a precautionary measure to deal with any situation.

Police also reached out to people and thanked them for maintaining peace in their areas.

The protest by the students of Jamia Mllia Islamia on Sunday entered its eight day, with senior Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury joining them. He slammed the Modi government over the new law which he described as 'against the Constitution'.

"Every religion has its holy book. The entire country has only one holy book, which is our Constitution. We will fight for the protection of our Constitution and rights...," Yechury told a gathering near Jamia Millia Islamia, stressing that protest against the contentious law should be peaceful.

At the Jantar Mantar, people from the Northeast gathered, lamenting that the protests against the CAA were given a 'Hindu-Muslim colour' and the voices from the region fighting for the rights of indigenous people ignored.

The protesters, including students and civil society members, said they were deeply hurt and distressed by the police 'brutality' on those against the Citizen Amendment Act, but 'our protest is about our rights'.

"We will not let others hijack our agenda. We are here to speak about our people. You cannot always ask one to take more people," Tripura's royal scion Pradyot Deb Barman, who is also present there, said.

Hundreds of people demanding scrapping of the CAA participated at a public meeting in Delhi's Connaught Place, waving national flag and holding placards carrying couplets and catchy messages like 'Rebel with a cause -- reject CAA' and 'Digital India without Internet -- Shame', 'My name is Khan and I am an Indian', 'It is so bad that even engineers are here', 'Make India Democratic Again', and 'Darr ke Aage Peace hai'.

Students, doctors and artists were among the scores of people who gathered at Central Park against the law.

Several AIIMS doctors wearing stethoscope around their neck also assembled at the site where the protesters sang patriotic songs and recited poems.

The protest was organised by a newly-formed group called 'Delhiites For Constitution'.

On Saturday, people held peaceful demonstrations against the amended Citizenship Act at several places.

The national capital had witnessing a number of violent protests over the last few days.

On Friday, angry protesters set a car on fire, damaged several vehicles and resorted to stone-pelting near the Delhi Gate area after police personnel baton-charged them and used water cannon to disperse the crowd.

Earlier in the week, violence also erupted in Northeast Delhi's Seelampur, Jafrabad and Southeast Delhi's New Friends' Colony and Jamia during which several vehicles were set on fire and public property damaged.

In Mumbai, several thousand people participated in a march in Dharavi to protest against the CAA and the December 15 police action against Jamia Millia Islamia students.

The protest march was held on 90-feet road in Dharavi and saw participants holding placards against CAA and the NRC exercise.

Similar protests were held in Malvani in the northern suburb of Malad, though people here also shouted slogans in favour of the Mumbai police whose efficiency ensured a massive rally against CAA and NRC went off without any untoward incident on Thursday at August Kranti Maidan near Grant Road station.

In Ghatkopar, a BJP stronghold in the metropolis, several people came out for a pro-CAA rally, with participants hailing the Narendra Modi government for the Act.

In Pune, students and youths held a peaceful protest on Sunday evening.

Outfits like 'Yuvak Kranti Dal', 'Professional Congress' among others held a demonstration at Goodluck Chowk on Fergusson College road in afternoon.

They held placards with slogans like 'Millenials won't board this #CAB, 'We Reject CAA/NRC', 'Respect Existence or Expect Resistance', 'Our Solidarity is Lathiproof', 'All Fascists Are Bound to Lose' 'Modi Teri Chai Unsecular Hai', 'Modiji Please Focus on Real Issues, written on them, and shouted slogans denouncing the CAA and proposed NRC exercise.

On December 17, hundreds of students from the Fergusson College held a rally and a signature campaign inside the campus against the CAA and NRC to protest against the police crackdown on students of the Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI) in Delhi.

Around 500 members of Islamic outfits and scores of Communist Party of India-Marxist activists staged demonstrations in Chennai on Sunday as protests continued against the Citizenship Amendment Act in parts of Tamil Nadu.

While members of the Islamic outfits, including women, staged a protest holding placards in Chepauk, CPI-M cadres distributed pamphlets in Thousand Lights area, Hindu Makkal Katchi RPT Makkal Katchi workers, led by their leader Arjun Sampath staged a demonstration, holding placards and party flags, at Vallurvarkotam area.

Protests were also held in Theni by members of some Islamic organisations.

In Madurai, activists of Campus Front of India and an Islamic outfit were booked for staging a protest against the CAA on Saturday without taking permission, police said.

"We have booked cases against around 2,000 members, including those from Campus Front of India and another Muslim outfit," a senior police officer told PTI.

Earlier, senior BJP Leader L Ganesan told reporters in Chennai that there was nothing in wrong in police using weapons to disperse mobs who damage public property.

He said police can use weapons at their disposal in an official capacity as otherwise the protesters may cause more damage to public property.

He claimed that there has been a decrease in protests against CAA nationwide and slammed opposition parties for their 'false propaganda' over the Act.

In Madhya Pradesh's Jabalpur, curfew imposed in some parts of Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh after violence during Friday protests was relaxed on Sunday for seven hours from 1 pm, police said.

Curfew was imposed on Friday in four police station areas in Jabalpur after protesters pelted stones, clashed with police and indulged in destruction of property, an official said.

These areas are part of Gohalpur, Hanumantal, Kotwali and Adhartal police stations.

"Curfew was relaxed for seven hours on Sunday from 1 pm in four police station limits. Mobile internet service has also resumed in the city. Curfew was relaxed so that people could but essential items," said Additional Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar Tripathi.

Meanwhile, the Manipur government has imposed a prohibitory order on Imphal West district for two months in view of the continued protests, an official said on Sunday.

The prohibitory order under Section 144 Code of Criminal Procedure was clamped on Imphal West on Saturday from 5.30 pm, said a
statement issued by the office of District Magistrate Naorem Praveen.

"Assembly of five or more persons which is likely to turn unlawful is prohibited," it said.

The order also stated that 'carrying of sticks, stones, firearms without a valid licence, weapons or objects of any description' which can be used for offensive activities is not allowed.

'There is likelihood of serious breach of peace and disturbance to public tranquility and grave danger to human lives and properties in the entire district on account of unlawful activities of some anti-social elements,' the order said.

The prohibitory order was issued after the Imphal West district witnessed a series of protests, rallies and sit-ins against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the official said.

Amid growing concerns over the outcome of Naga peace talks, civil societies in the district also held protests, seeking assurances from the Centre that the solution to the vexed political issue would not be affecting Manipur's territorial integrity.

Manipur has a sizeable Naga population.

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