Bandh call over CAA evokes mild response in Gujarat: Police

PTI Ahmedabad | Updated on December 19, 2019

ABVP members shout slogans in support of Citizenship Amendment Act in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. – PTI

A bandh called by a minority rights group against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens evoked lukewarm response here on Thursday as routine life remained unaffected, police said.

At least 12 members of the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) were detained from outside a college for protests against the new citizenship law, Deputy Commissioner of Police Vijay Patel said. Autorickshaws were plying in the city which largely remained unaffected by the bandh call, he said.

While shops in Muslim-dominated areas of Juhapura, Jamalpur, Gomtipur and Teen Darwaja were shut since morning, the bandh call, given by ‘Alp-Sankhyak Adhikar Manch’, failed to evoke response in other areas as commercial establishments remained open there, police said. A cloth market in Dhalgarwad area of old city remained shut since morning.

A banner saying ‘The cloth market will remain closed today against the draconian law of CAA and NRC’ was put by traders on the main road leading to the market. However, no autorickshaw union associated with the Congress extended its support to the bandh call, Patel said.

“The bandh call had no major impact. Autorickshaws are also plying on roads. There was no incident of people being forced to close their shops. There may be some places where shops were shut voluntarily, but almost the entire city remained unaffected,” he said.

Patel said 12 members of the NSUI were detained from outside a college near Lal Darwaja area of old city for demonstrations against the new citizenship law and NRC.

Since some civil rights groups earlier also gave a call for ‘Bharat Bandh’ on Thursday, following which Gujarat Director General of Police Shivanand Jha asked the State Reserve Police to keep their armed personnel on ‘stand-by’ for any emergency need.

Meanwhile, Shamshad Pathan, member of the group which gave the bandh call, claimed their protest received good response as several Muslim-dominated areas observed a total shut down. Though the bandh call was given only for Ahmedabad city, messages on social media appealed to people since Wednesday to observe a shutdown across Gujarat.

Some messages urging Muslims, specifically from cities including Vadodara and Godhra, to join the bandh went viral on social media since Wednesday. “A message calling for Vadodara bandh was circulated on Wednesday. However, it had no major impact in the city today.

Published on December 19, 2019

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