Citizenship Act: From Delhi to Bengaluru, protests rage across India

Citizenship Act: From Delhi to Bengaluru, protests rage across India

Protesters across the country Thursday defied prohibitory orders as they took to the streets to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Many have been detained, including historian Ramachandra Guha in Bengaluru, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury and Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav in New Delhi. Mobile internet connectivity was also shutdown in parts of the national capital.

Citizenship Amendment Act protests: 10 points

Two protests in the national capital, one by students and activists and the other by Left parties, have been denied permission by the police. The two marches were to meet at Shaheen Park near ITO.

Left party leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja, former JNU leader Umar Khalid, Swaraj Party leader Yogendra Yadav are among scores of protestors detained by the Delhi Police near Red Fort when they tried to take out a march in defiance of the prohibitory orders imposed there to protest the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

Mobile internet services have been shut down in some parts of Delhi. According to reports, telecom operators like Airtel and Vodafone have shut down voice, Internet, and SMS services, though it has not been specified which parts of the city. Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has said it has “suspended voice, internet and SMS services” in some parts of Delhi on the instruction from the government.

Entry and exit gates of 16 Metro Stations in Delhi have been shut in the wake of protests against the new Citizenship legislation. Earlier in the morning, the DMRC had closed gates of seven stations, including Jamia Millia, Jama Masjid and Munirka. Seven more stations were closed soon after, followed by two more. Metro stations which are closed include Patel Chowk, Lok Kalyan Marg, Udyog Bhawan, ITO, Pragati Maidan and Khan Market.

The gates of Central Secretariat were also closed but interchange facility was available for passengers. Other stations which are closed are: Jasola Vihar Shaheen Bagh, Lal Quila, Vishwa Vidyalaya.

Massive traffic congestion was also reported on the Mehrauli – Gurgaon road, with police barricading the stretch and only allowing one car at a time.

Historian Ramachandra Guha and several others were detained for staging a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC at the Town Hall in Bengaluru. Reacting to his detention, Guha said it was “absolutely undemocratic” that police were not allowing even a peaceful protest, which is the democratic right of the citizens.

Prohibitory orders have been imposed in Dakshina Kannada district till the midnight of December 21 in the backdrop of the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ appealed to political parties on Thursday to keep academic institutions away from their politics, while asserting that students are a priority of the Narendra Modi government. His remarks came against the backdrop of police crackdown against students of Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi and the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in Uttar Pradesh, following protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

In Bihar, opposition Samajwadi Party legislators held a protest outside the Vidhan Bhawan defying prohibitory orders. Activists belonging to student bodies like AISF and AISA stormed the Rajendra Nagar Terminus and squatted on the tracks disrupting movement of trains for about half an hour early in the morning.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday hit out at the Narendra Modi-led government for “shutting down everyone” as massive protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act continued to rock the national capital despite prohibitory orders.

Courtesy Indian Express

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