2 killed in Mangaluru, 1 in Lucknow during anti-CAA protests across India

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondents
Dec 20, 2019 04:11 PM IST

Jaleel (49) and Nausheen (23) died after receiving firearm injuries, as the police sought to control protests that took place across multiple cities in Karnataka, including Mangaluru.

Two persons were killed in Mangaluru, Karnataka and one person died in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, due to gunshot wounds sustained during nationwide protests held against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) on Thursday.

Demonstrators at an anti Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) protest at Parivartan Chowk area of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, Thursday, December 19, 2019.(Dheeraj Dhawan / HT Photo)
Demonstrators at an anti Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) protest at Parivartan Chowk area of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, Thursday, December 19, 2019.(Dheeraj Dhawan / HT Photo)

Jaleel (49) and Nausheen (23) died after receiving firearm injuries, as the police sought to control protests that took place across multiple cities in Karnataka, including Mangaluru. In Lucknow, Mohd Wakeel, a resident of Hussainabad, died as police cracked down on protesters in the capital city of UP. The Director General of Police however said that the police has nothing to do with Wakeel’s death, and that an investigation will be carried out in this matter.

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Protests were held across 56 cities in 24 states and Union Territories on December 19, leading to the imposition of Section 144 — which prevents the gathering of four or more persons in a given place as a riot-prevention measure — in many parts of the country, including Delhi, several cities of Karnataka such as Bengaluru, Mangaluru, and Mysuru, as well as all the districts of Assam. Mobile services, voice calls and internet services were suspended in parts of the country, including in the Northeast.

Police vs protesters

Several persons, including policemen were injured in violence in parts of UP, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat during the day-long protest over the new citizenship law.

Police opened fire in Mangaluru after confronted by stone-pelting protesters, as a result of which a resident of the port area, 49-year-old Jaleel and a resident of Bengre, 23-year-old Nausheen were critically injured, and later succumbed to their wounds. Manguluru police commissioner P S Harsha told the media that the police were forced to open fire in self-defence, and that 20 policemen have been seriously injured. Police have imposed curfew in the city till Friday midnight.

The UP police confirmed that 112 people were arrested in Lucknow after they participated in the protests. At least 16 policemen, including ADG Lucknow SN Sabat and IG Lucknow SK Bhagat, were injured in Lucknow while two cops were injured in Sambhal, police said.

Around the country, hundreds of protesters were detained. About 100 students from Maulana Azad Urdu University, Central University Hyderabad and Osmania University detained in Hyderabad; noted historian Ramachandra Guha, Congress legislator Sowmya Reddy and MLA-elect Rizwan Arshad, as well as Gandhian activist and theatre personality Prasanna were detained in Bengaluru; Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav, former Patiala Parliamentarian Dharamvir Gandhi, former National Advisory Council member Harsh Mander, lawyer activist Prashant Bhushan and social activist John Dayal were among those detained in Delhi.

Various student groups, civil society groups, ordinary citizens and Opposition political parties participated in protests on Thursday to condemn the CAA, the proposed all-India NRC as well as the violence which occurred in Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), a university in Delhi, and Aligarh Muslim University on December 15. Police had entered JMI and AMU and assaulted students and fired tear gas shells at them. Over 50 JMI students were detained, and several injured.

In most locations, including Delhi and Mumbai, protests were peaceful as thousands came out into the streets. In Rajasthan, a hundreds-strong protest in Jaipur progressed peacefully, a senior police officer said. Protests were also held in Sikar and Ganganagar at the call of the Left parties. The protests were peaceful and there were no reports of imposition of section 144 or suspension of internet services in the state. Peaceful protests were also held in the Jammu and Kashmir, Dehradun and Simla. In Chandigarh, Muslim outfits were joined by students and Sikh outfits to register their dissent.

Protests at Parivartan Chowk, Madeyganj and Satkhanda localities in Lucknow turned violent, with demonstrators lobbing stones at the police, and the cops retaliating with batons, tear gas shells, water cannons and alleged gunfire. Violence was also reported from two other districts in UP, in Sambhal and Amroha. In Sambhal, a group of Samajwadi Party (SP) protestors set a UP Road Transport Corporation bus on fire, the police said.

“One cannot indulge in violence in the name of protest. We will take strict action against such elements,” UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath said.

At AMU, teachers took out a silent march. “We feel that we are fighting for the idea of India as envisaged by the founding fathers of the nation. This is not a struggle for the rights of any particular community,” AMU Teachers Association secretary, Professor Najmul Islam said.

In Bihar, members of Left-wing student organisations squatted on railway tracks at Rajendra Nagar Terminus early in the morning, while hundreds of activists of Jan Adhikar Party (JAP), floated by former MP Pappu Yadav burnt tyres on an adjacent road, police said. In Jehanabad, which had been a stronghold of the ultra-Left movement in Bihar, CPI(ML) activists disrupted traffic on national highways.

Violent turn

The Gujarat Police used baton-charge at Sardar Baug and Shah Alam, the two localities in Ahmedabad city, on Thursday after alleged stone pelting. Police claimed that 14 policemen were injured. “Despite repeated requests, the protestors refused to disperse and started pelting stones in which police personnel got injured. We had to use force to disperse the unruly crowd,” said Ashish Bhatia, Ahmedabad police commissioner.

Protests in West Bengal, Assam and Meghalaya were largely peaceful even though rallies were taken out to oppose CAA and NRC. In Chandigarh and Jammu, the Left and Congress workers held protest rallies.

Police reportedly resorted to a lathi charge to disperse a crowd after stone pelting created panic in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, said a police officer who didn’t wish to be quoted.

The ruling BJP and the government maintained there won’t be any rethink on implementation of the new citizenship law. Slamming the opposition for protesting against the new law, BJP working president J P Nadda said on Thursday that the CAA will be implemented, and that the National Register of Citizens will also be brought in.

“India today has the ignominy of being the largest internet shutdown in the world... This is worse than Emergency,” Sitaram Yechury, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, who was detained in Delhi, said.

Earlier this month, the Parliament passed the amended act to allow undocumented migrants from six communities — Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Christian, Parsi, and Jain — to stay in India and get citizenship if they claim religious persecution. This provision is valid for people who entered India before December 31, 2014.

(With inputs from HTC in regional bureaus and agencies)
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