High alert in north Kerala after violence in Karnataka’s Mangaluru during CAA protests
Kerala’s police chief on Friday called for high alert in five districts in the northern part of the state after violence in neighbouring Karnataka’s Mangaluru where two people were killed in police firing during the protests against the citizenship law.
Director general of police Loknath Behera has directed superintendents of police in Kasargod, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad to maintain a strict vigil and take action against those who spread rumours.
Karnataka’s home minister Basavaraj Bommai has said people from neighbouring Kerala indulged in violence in Mangaluru during the protests after misleading students and others.
Many, including a Kerala government minister, slammed the statement of the Karnataka home minister.
“The Karnataka government is blaming others for its utter failure,” said Kerala’s revenue minister E Chandrasekaran.
Many media houses complained that their reporters were prevented from entering the state at the borders and that their phones were taken away by officials.
Senior journalist and writer TJS George condemned the police crackdown on reporters along the Kerala-Karnataka border, saying the media can’t be stifled.
Congress general secretary KC Venugopal also decried action against the media.
The state has been witnessing a series of protests against the citizenship law, which seeks to provide citizenship to illegal migrants from Buddhist, Hindu, Sikhs, Jain, Parsi and Christian faiths, who have come to India from the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, on or before December 31, 2014, in the last four days and all of them have been more or less peaceful.
As the protest against the new law is gaining momentum in Kerala, police are on their toes and a senior police officer said a special vigil will also be maintained during Friday prayers.
Many organisations have announced their plan to hold rallies in Kozhikode, Kannur, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram on Friday as well.
Many Muslim outfits had observed a statewide shutdown on Tuesday which failed to make much impact.
As many fringe outfits are planning to hijack the emotive issue, the Indian Union Muslim League, which has four members of Parliament, is treading a cautious path.
The League was the first party to approach the Supreme Court against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The top court is expected to examine the constitutional validity of the new legislation on January 22.
Opposition parties and civil society say the law is unconstitutional because it links faith to citizenship and discriminatory because it omits Islam.
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