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Anti-CAA protests: Delhi returns to normal amid heavy security deployment

PTI, Reuters | Updated on December 21, 2019 Published on December 21, 2019
Protestors take part in a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the NRC, in Patna, on Saturday.

Protestors take part in a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the NRC, in Patna, on Saturday.

CAA an 'immoral' law that should be withdrawn: Ramachandra Guha

The anti-CAA protests across the country have brought together opposition parties, students and intellectuals against the new citizenship law. The protests have also led to violence, with the protesters clashing with the police in several states.

7.30 pm

Students, activists, professionals stage anti-CAA stir at India Gate

Hundreds of students, professionals and civil society activists gathered at the India Gate here on Saturday to protest against the amended Citizenship Act.

The protesters raised slogans against the BJP government and said the new law would tear into the secular fabric of the country.

“A lot of educated people are not aware of what is happening in the country. This law will tear into the secular fabric of the country.

“NRC (National Register of Citizens) and CAA together are a huge problem,” said a former Delhi University (DU) student who did not wish to be named.

 

6.50 pm

Pro-CAA human chain in Pune

A human chain was formed in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Pune in Maharashtra on Saturday evening.

Several organisations took part in the event held on Jangali Maharaj Road.

The participants held placards with slogans like ’India Supports CAA’, ‘Padhai Karo’, ‘Patharbaji Nahi’, ‘Stop Hinduphobia’, ‘Atithi deo bhava’, ‘Country First’, written on them, and also shouted slogans.

In recent days, Pune had witnesses protests opposing the new citizenship law that grants Indian citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants escaping religious persecution from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Over the last few days, protesters have fought pitched battles with police in some major cities of the country, including Delhi, against the “anti-Muslim” CAA and proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), prompting authorities to impose prohibitory orders.

 

6 p.m

Situation improves amid heavy security deployment in parts of Delhi

The situation in areas hit by violence during protests against the new citizenship law is gradually returning to normal, police said on Saturday, and assured that a heavy deployment of security personnel has been made in Old Delhi and Seemapuri areas.

Stone-pelting and incidents of violence were reported from Daryaganj in Old Delhi and Seemapuri in northeast part of the national capital on Friday.

Manish Seth, secretary of Daryaganj Traders’ Association, said all shops in the area opened on Saturday morning and there’s no unrest. He said police have been keeping a tight vigil.

The area surrounding Jama Masjid, where a large number of protesters gathered on Friday evening, was also quiet and businesses ran as usual.

Talking about the ongoing protests in the country, a shopkeeper, on the condition of anonymity, said while he “supported the cause, such incidents only harm business“.

“There were already no jobs, economy is going down by the day, and now people are scared for their citizenship. There is not a single thing that is going to be positive because of CAA,” he said.

Asif, a rickshaw puller near Jama Masjid, said these were “bad days” and it was “best to stay inside“.

“Of course it is going to affect our wages. If not today, maybe tomorrow we can earn some money. What will we do if we are not even alive or free to do that,” the 53-year-old said.

A bookseller near Delhi Gate, where a car was burned on Friday evening as protests turned violent, also lamented the ill-effects of the contentious citizenship law, saying people were not to be blamed for the agitations.

“If I tell you I will take away your home tomorrow, and you know I am capable of doing it, will you sit quietly? Violence is not the answer to anything, but you cannot expect people to not be upset when their future is uncertain,” he said.

A senior police officer from Shahdara district said situation was under control in the area.

“Delhi Police personnel have dominated the area and are conducting flag marches since Friday evening to ensure that no untoward incident is reported,” he added.

 

Jamia students protest outside varsity campus against CAA

5 p.m.

The Jamia Millia Islamia students on Saturday staged a demonstration yet again outside the varsity campus against amendments in the citizenship law, days after violent clashes between police and agitationists in its vicinity.

The demonstration, begun by woman students of the central varsity, was later joined by its male students as well as alumni and “outsiders”, with the protestors ranting the air with slogans like “Ladke lenge azadi” (get independence after fighting) and “Inquilab Zindabad“.

As protesting crowd swelled by minutes, the women students specifically asked them not to use abusive or unparliamentary language during the protest.

The varsity has been at the forefront of the protest against the citizenship law.

Participating in the protest, a 76-year-old woman, Nafiz Ikram said, “You all are leading a movement against what is wrong. Don’t step back. Don’t get scared of police. You are the real police who are fighting to protect our Constitution”.

A protester, who had come from Bihar to join the protest, said, “The rich have proof of their identity or they will procure it somehow. How will the labourers and workers, who migrate from UP and Bihar, manage to get the proof?”

Students also took out a march against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

Some former students of the university came to the spot with their children.

“I am with students of this country. What happened at Jamia Millia last week was unpardonable. My son is here carrying a poster and I want my son to grow up in a secular nation and not a biased country,” said an alumnus, who had brought his five-year-old son to the protest venue.

On Sunday, the police had entered the varsity campus to look for ‘outsiders’ who were involved in violence and arson during a protest against the CAA, a few metres away from the campus.

 

CAA, NRC do not deserve to be implemented in country: Gehlot

4.30 pm

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday said the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) “do not deserve” to be implemented in the country as they will affect people of all communities.

He accused the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah of “trying to polarise” the country and said they will not be allowed to do so.

The Chief Minister said when the government “could not implement” NRC in Assam, then how would it succeed in implementing the same in the entire country.

Protestors hold placards as they raise slogans during a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Act outside Jamia Milia Islamia University in New Delhi on Saturday. - PTI

Protestors hold placards as they raise slogans during a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Act outside Jamia Milia Islamia University in New Delhi on Saturday. - PTI

 

Four students detained during anti-CAA protest outside UP Bhawan in Delhi

New Delhi: The Delhi Police on Saturday detained four students during a protest against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act outside Uttar Pradesh Bhawan in Chanakyapuri here, officials said.

The protesters were taken to the Mandir Marg police station, they said.

The students had gathered outside Uttar Pradesh Bhawan with banners which read “No CAA, No NRC” and “Save Constitution“.

The students said that they were from Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh, the police said.

RJD’s bandh brings normal life to a grinding halt in Bihar

Patna: Bihar was rocked by large-scale vandalism and disruption of rail and road traffic on Saturday during a bandh call by the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal in protest against the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed country-wide implementation of the NRC.

Carrying bamboo sticks and party flags, bandh supporters gathered at bus stands, railway tracks and other vantage points in all the districts of the state at dawn, unfazed by the winter fog and chilly winds. They sat on railway tracks and blocked bus terminuses at various places to enforce the day-long bandh.

Tejashwi Yadav, leader of the opposition in the state Assembly and heir apparent of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, marched in a large procession from the party office in Bir Chand Patel Marg here to Dak Bungalow crossing, throwing traffic on the busy Fraser Road and Bailey Road out of gear.

Protests against citizenship law continue in TN

A protestor holds a placard during a demonstration against the CAA, in Chennai on Saturday. - PTI

A protestor holds a placard during a demonstration against the CAA, in Chennai on Saturday. - PTI

 

Chennai: Scores of CPI-M activists tried to block trains at the railway station here but were foiled by police, as protests continued against the Citizenship Amendment Act in parts of Tamil Nadu on Saturday.

Outfits affiliated to the CPI(M), including the Democratic Youth Federation of India, and the Students’ Federation of India attempted to block trains at the MGR Central Railway Station complex here.

As the protesters tried to move ahead to block trains, a scuffle ensued between them and the police personnel for a while. There was, however, no untoward incidents.

Communist Party of India veteran Nallakannu led the march to Raj Bhavan as part of the party’s “besiege Raj Bhavan,” agitation, in which scores of Congress workers, volunteers of outfits, including the CPI-affiliated All India Students’ Federation, took part.

CAA, NRC ploys to divert attention from serious issues: Pawar

NCP President Sharad Pawar   -  PTI

 

Pune: NCP president Sharad Pawar slammed the NDA government on Saturday, saying the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens were “ploys to divert” attention from serious issues plaguing the country.

“CAA and NRC are ploys to divert people’s attention from serious issues that the country is facing,” he told presspersons here.

“Not just minorities, but those who care for the country’s unity and progress are opposing CAA and NRC. The new citizenship law will disturb and hurt religious and social unity and harmony of the country,” he said.

He questioned why only migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be given citizenship under the amended law and not the Sri Lankan Tamils.

Eight states, including Bihar, ruled by an NDA ally, have refused to implement the law and Maharashtra should also take a similar stand, Pawar said in response to a query.

Over 1,000 academicians release statement in support of CAA 

New Delhi: More than 1,000 academicians from various universities across India on Saturday released a statement in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act. In the statement, they congratulated the Parliament for “standing up for forgotten minorities and upholding the civilizational ethos of India” and “providing a haven for those fleeing religious persecution”.

Curfew to be relaxed in Mangaluru from 3 pm to 6 pm today

Mangaluru: Following a review of the law and order situation in Mangaluru, the Karnataka Chief Minister, B.S. Yediyurappa, said that curfew will be relaxed in the city from 3 pm to 6 pm on Saturday.

The city was placed under curfew from 6 pm of December 19 to midnight of December 22 following the violent incidents post-CAA protests in Mangaluru on Thursday. Two persons were killed in the police firing on that day.

Yediyurappa, who also held discussions with leaders from the minority community today, said curfew will be relaxed from 6 am to 6 pm on December 22.

The Karnataka Home Minister, Basavaraja Bommai, the president of the Karnataka unit of BJP and Dakshina Kannada MP (Member of Parliament), Nalin Kumar Kateel, the Udupi-Chikmagaluru MP, Shobha Karandlaje, and senior police officials were present.

The Chief Minister said there would be an inquiry into the violent incident and police firing following that, and this will be discussed with the Karnataka Home Minister.

Expressing his unhappiness over the incidents in Mangaluru, he said police were forced to use force as the situation was going out of control. He said the violent crowd had surrounded the police station and attacked the public and police. There were chances of the crowd causing further damage to property and public.

He said he met members of the victims’ families and asked the Deputy Commissioner to disburse compensation according to the rules.- Our Bureau

An 'immoral' law that should be withdrawn: Guha

 

Bengaluru: Eminent historian and writer Ramachandra Guha on Saturday termed the Citizenship Amendment Act as “immoral” and “against the spirit of the Constitution” and said a wise and just government would withdraw it.

He also noted that the immediate withdrawal of the NRC was a necessary first step to restore trust and heal the nation.

“To make two things absolutely clear. 1. The immediate withdrawal of the NRC is a necessary first step to restore trust and heal the nation. 2. The CAA is immoral and against the spirit of the Constitution. A wise and just Government would withdraw it too,” Guha tweeted.

Guha was among many others who were detained on Thursday for staging a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC near the Town Hall here, in defiance of the prohibitory orders imposed in the city. Reacting to his detention, Guha had said it was “absolutely undemocratic” that police were not allowing even a peaceful protest, which is the democratic right of the citizens.

Modi summons ministers to discuss security situation

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a meeting with his council of ministers on Saturday to discuss security following protests against the new citizenship law, government sources said.

At least 14 people have been killed in violent clashes between the police and protesters since parliament last week passed the law, which critics say discriminates against Muslims and undermines the country's secular constitution.

“The PM has called a meeting of the full union council of ministers to assess the prevailing situation due to violent protests in many parts of the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act,” a senior government official told Reuters, requesting anonymity. Read more

20 detained, 130 booked for violence in Maharashtra

Mumbai: Twenty people have been detained and 130 booked in Hingoli district in Marathawada region of Maharashtra for allegedly damaging public property and rioting during separate protests against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, an official said on Saturday.

The violence was reported in Kalamnuri town and Hingoli city in the district on Friday, in which stones were hurled at policemen, he said.

“So far, police have detained around 20 people for damaging public property and rioting,” the official said. 

He said 130 people have been booked for cheating, attempting to murder, endangering the life or personal safety of others, voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means and unlawful assembly.

Cases were also registered at Parbhani and Beed districts against some protesters under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code. Three people have been arrested in Parbhani district in separate violence-related incidents.

Assam peaceful, curfew relaxed in Dibrugarh

Guwahati: The situation in Assam was normal though protesters took out peaceful rallies against the amended Citizenship Act in various parts of the state on Saturday, police said.

The curfew imposed in Dibrugarh following violent protests against the new citizenship law was relaxed for 16 hours at 6 am on Saturday as the law and order situation had improved, they said.

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), which is spearheading the agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act, has planned a sit-in later in the day in Guwahati.

Mobile internet services were restored in Assam on Friday after nine days of its suspension, while broadband services had resumed on December 18.

Mobile internet services resume in Meghalaya 

Shillong: Mobile internet services have resumed in Meghalaya, eight days after they were snapped in the wake of violent protests over the new citizenship law, officials said on Saturday.

The ban on mobile internet and mass messaging services, imposed on December 12, was lifted at around 7 pm on Friday due to an improvement in the law and order situation, a senior home department official told PTI.

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma reviewed the law and order situation in the state with senior home department officials and issued instructions for restoring mobile internet and messaging services in the state, he said.

The curfew imposed in Sadar and Lumdiengjri police station limits in the hill town was also relaxed for 16 hours  and no untoward incident was reported in these areas in the past 24 hours, East Khasi Hills District Magistrate M W Nongbri, said.

Congress steps up campaign against CAA in Kerala

Kochi: The Congress in Kerala is organising protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in all district headquarters on Saturday. Senior Congress leaders, including Ramesh Chennithala, K. C. Venugopal, Mullappally Ramachandran and Shashi Tharoor are participating in the campaign, capturing the mood of the people in the state against the law enacted by Parliament during its winter session.

The Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Chennithala, will inaugurate the protest in Malappuram district in North Kerala, which has been witness to a series of agitations against the CAA. Tharoor will lead the agitation in Kozhikode, party sources said. AICC General Secretary Venugopal led the protest in Alappuzha on Friday.

Daryaganj violence: Delhi court directs police to allow lawyers to meet detainees

A Delhi court has come to the rescue of 40 people detained in connection with a violent protest in Daryaganj, by directing Delhi Police to allow lawyers to meet the detainees and provide them legal remedies.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arul Verma issued the directions to the station house officer of the Daryaganj police station late on Friday night, when lawyers approached him at his residence, seeking permission to meet the detainees.

Advocates Kriti Awasthi and Aditya Pujari submitted before the chief metropolitan magistrate that some people, including minors, were detained at the police station and they could not meet the area metropolitan magistrate or the duty magistrate.

Verma further directed the SHO to provide necessary medical care to the detainees who were injured.

The judge also pulled up Delhi Police for detaining minors, saying if there is any minor who is allegedly in conflict with the law, he or she ought not be detained in the first instance and they should be, if the need arises, be dealt with as per the provisions of the law.

“Detention of a minor in a police station is a flagrant violation of law,” the judge said. Later, police said eight minors, detained on Friday, have been released

15 held for violence in Daryaganj

New Delhi: Fifteen people have been arrested in connection with the violence in Daryaganj in Old Delhi during a protest against the new citizenship law, police said on Saturday.

Initially 10 people were held but five more were arrested later, they said. Those arrested have been charged with rioting and using force to deter policemen from doing duty, police said.

According to police, the protesters had set ablaze a private car parked at Subhash Marg area on Friday evening. The fire was immediately doused.

Forty persons were detained in connection with the protest and subsequent violence. Out of them, eight minors were released early on Saturday.

Ten of the people arrested were among those who were detained, police said, adding there is a likelihood of more arrests in the matter.

Yeddyurappa visits Mangaluru

Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa is visiting Mangaluru on Saturday and will hold meetings with top officials to review the situation there.

Two people were killed in police firing in the district on Thursday as the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act turned violent. The situation in the curfew clamped city was by and large peaceful on Friday, barring stray incidents of violence.

“I’m going to Mangaluru along with Govind Karjol (Deputy Chief Minister) and Basavaraj Bommai (Home Minister). I will hold meetings with officials there to know the reasons (for the violence),” Yediyurappa told reporters here before leaving for Mangaluru.

Police said the curfew in the city was lifted for a couple of hours on Saturday morning to allow the public to buy their daily essentials from the market.

Centre should give up 'stubborn stand' on citizenship law: Mayawati

BSP president Mayawati on Saturday asked the Centre to give up its “stubborn stand” on the new citizenship law and NRC and withdraw its decisions.

“Now that voices opposed to the CAA and NRC have started coming from within the NDA, the Central Government should give up its stubborn stand and withdraw its decisions,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.

“Also, it is an appeal to protesters to express their opposition in a peaceful manner,” the Bahujan Samaj Party chief added.

Death toll in UP violence rises to 11

At least 11 people, including an 8-year-old boy, have lost their lives in Uttar Pradesh as the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act turned violent in the state, officials said on Saturday.

Four deaths were reported from Meerut district, while the boy lost his life in a stampede in Varanasi when a violent mob was being chased by police personnel, they said.

After Friday prayers, six people were killed as protesters clashed with the police at several places in the state. They hurled stones and torched vehicles, the officials said.

Six policemen also received bullet injuries in incidents across the state, they said, adding the condition of one policeman was critical.

Violence during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests has so far claimed lives in Bijnor, Sambhal, Firozabad, Kanpur, Varanasi and Meerut in the state.

Bhim Army chief taken into custody

Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad was detained by police outside the Jama Masjid early Saturday, after he played hide and seek with security personnel for several hours.

On Friday evening, after security personnel tried to detain him during a march led by his Bhim Army against the new citizenship law from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar, Aazad surfaced inside the mosque. He had given the Delhi Police the slip to reach the mosque.

“We have to make sacrifices so that the legislation is taken back. We do not support violence. We were sitting inside the mosque since Friday morning and our people were not involved in violence,” he said.

The protest will continue till Home Minister Amit Shah resigns, he said, adding he will soon address the protesters at Jamia Millia Islamia. Aazad said he had urged his supporters to carry on the protest peacefully.

RJD sponsored bandh hits rail, road traffic in Bihar

Patna: Thousands of RJD supporters fanned out across Bihar today, disrupting rail and road traffic while trying to enforce a state-wide shutdown in protest against the new citizenship law and the proposed NRC.

In the state capital, hundreds of party supporters - among whom children could also be seen - stormed railway stations and bus stands carrying sticks and party flags but they were chased away by police personnel.

In Nawada, bandh supporters staged a demonstration on national highway 31, where they burnt tires on the road disrupting the movement of vehicles, while agitators protested at Zero Mile Chowk in Muzaffarpur.

There were reports of bandh supporters squatting on railway tracks in Araria and East Champaran districts.

The Bihar bandh called by the main opposition party comes barely two days after a state-wide shut-down was organised by the Left parties.

 

Published on December 21, 2019
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