Nationwide protests against citizenship law continue; many booked

Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) continued even as clashes between police personnel and protestors intensified in different places across the country.
People hold placards and raise slogans during a protest against CAA, at Jama Masjid, in New Delhi, India, on Friday, December 20, 2019.(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
People hold placards and raise slogans during a protest against CAA, at Jama Masjid, in New Delhi, India, on Friday, December 20, 2019.(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Dec 21, 2019 07:10 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondents

Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) continued to take on Friday, even as clashes between police personnel and protestors intensified in different places across the country.

In Madhya Pradesh, peaceful protests were held in many cities, including Ujjain, Damoh and Rajgarh, but violence broke out in parts of Jabalpur city due to which curfew was imposed by authorities. After the city’s Gohalpur and Hanumantal localities, parts of Kotwali and Adhartal were brought under curfew, Jabalpur District Collector Bharat Yadav said.

Mobile Internet services remain suspended till noon on Saturday in Jabalpur, Bhopal and Indore, after protesters pelted stones at police in Jabalpur, surrounding a policeman and breaking the glass panes of a police vehicle. At least six personnel were injured in the protests.

Tamil Nadu’s Chennai city police on Friday slapped cases against 3,637 persons protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Chennai on Thursday at Valluvar Kottam defying prohibitory orders. Among those booked include renowned Carnatic singer TM Krishna, actor Siddharth and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) president and Chidambaram LS constituency Parliamentarian Thol Thirumavalavan.

TM Krishna had slammed the Centre for “trying to divide the nation in the name of religion.” Other leaders who were booked also made speeches critical of the CAA and NRC.

The police also booked Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK) leader MH Jawahirullah for attempting to picket chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s house on Wednesday together with 3000 party workers. Around 37 students of Periyar Student’s Forum were booked for blocking a road during an agitation in Nungambakkam on Friday. Several student associations from educational institutions, including Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, Loyola College and Madras University, as well as civil society groups, have come out to protest the police violence against students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, in the past week.

Several parts of Coimbatore and Tirunelveli districts shut down to protest the CAA. About 1,500 shops were closed in Melapalayam in Tirunelveli. In Coimbatore district, shops were shut in Kuniyamuthur, Kottaimedu and Karumpukkadai areas. Several protests broke out in Anna Nagar and Chepauk in Chennai and Vaniyambadi in Vellore.

In Odisha, aver a hundred students staged a demonstration, alleging that the legislation is discriminatory to the citizens of different religions. The protesters displayed several placards, questioning provisions of the new law. “If India is not secular, it is not India,” a placard read.

The Gujarat government on Friday imposed Section 144, which prohibits an assembly of more than 4 people in an area, in Rajkot till January 1, 2020. “Section 144 imposed in Rajkot till January 1, 2020,” District administration said.

The said section has been imposed in view of the ongoing anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in several parts of the state. Earlier in the day, Gujarat Police registered an FIR against 3,022 people on the charges of rioting, assault and criminal conspiracy for protesting against the newly-amended citizenship law in Banaskantha district.

The action was taken after scores of people staged protest against the CAA in the district on Thursday.

State governments respond

Meanwhile, possibly as a fallout to the nation-wide protests, at least eight states have come out against applying the CAA. Rajasthan along with at least seven other states, including the NDA-ruled Bihar, will not implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, said Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday.

Gehlot said more than eight states including Rajasthan, West Bengal, Bihar, Punjab, Kerala, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh would not implement the amended Citizenship Act. “I have said several times that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and NRC cannot be implemented across the country because they are not practical. Despite the resistance and suggestion by opposition parties, CAB became an act but why students and youths of all communities have come on roads ?” Gehlot tweeted.

The Kerala government on Friday said it has ordered a stay on all activities in connection with the National Population Register (NPR) in the state considering ‘apprehensions’ of public that it would lead to NRC in the wake of the controversial citizenship act.

The order issued by the Kerala Principal Secretary (General Administration) said: “Considering that the apprehensions among the general public that the conduct of NPR related activities leads to NRC in the wake of Citizenship Amendment Act-2019, the state government orders to stay all the activities connected with the updation of National Population Register in the state forthwith.”

Earlier this week, the West Bengal government stayed all activities relating to the preparation and updation of the NPR in the eastern state amid the furore over the CAA.

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Monday, July 04, 2022