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Mamata hits the streets to protest against Citizenship Amendment Act, even as Bengal burns

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on December 16, 2019 Published on December 16, 2019

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee taking to the streets of Kolkata, protesting against amendments to the Citizenship Act and “attempts to divide the country on communal lines”.   -  Photo: Debasish Bhaduri

Even as violent protests and road and railway blockades from different districts of Bengal continued to rock the State for the fourth consecutive day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today hit the streets, protesting amendments to the Citizenship Act and against “attempts to divide the country on communal lines”.

Banerjee had issued an appeal asking people from every section of society to join the rally, which began at the statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar on Red Road in Central Kolkata, and traversed a 5-km route to end at Jorasanko Thakurbari - Rabindranath Tagore’s home in north Kolkata.

The CM, who gave a brief speech before starting the rally, called it a “people’s movement in a peaceful manner, within the ambit of law”. She even administered a pledge to her supporters, asking them to maintain peace.

“Harmony of all religions is our principle in life. We will not allow NRC and CAA in Bengal,” she said, adding that “the Centre will be have implement the law (NRC and CAA) over my dead body”.

Banerjee also condemned the violent action taken by the Delhi Police against students of Jamia Millia Islamia University, but warned protesters in Bengal of “strong action” if they resorted to violence.

Protest Rally Unconstitutional

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee taking to the streets of Kolkata, protesting against amendments to the Citizenship Act and “attempts to divide the country on communal lines”.   -  Photo: Debasish Bhaduri

 

Meanwhile, West Bengal Governor Jadgeep Dhankhar called the protest rally “unconstitutional” and said he was anguished that the Chief Minister brought out a rally against the “law of the land”.

“I am extremely anguished that the CM and Ministers are to spearhead a rally against the CAA, a law of the land. This is unconstitutional. I call upon the CM to desist from this unconstitutional and inflammatory act at this juncture and devote her attention to retrieving the grim situation,” Dhankhar tweeted.

A day ago, the Governor had called advertisements by the State government - that claimed NRC and CAA will not be implemented - “unconstitutional” and a misuse of the public exchequer.

“Earlier I had urged the Chief Minister to withdraw the advertisements forthwith indicating ‘NO NRC and CAB’. Unfortunately there has been no response or action. How can a Government spend from the public exchequer to challenge the law of the land! It is unconstitutional,” he had tweeted.

Published on December 16, 2019
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