Fresh protests in India over new citizenship law

Reuters/IANS/New Delhi
Filed on December 17, 2019 | Last updated on December 17, 2019 at 06.35 am
Fresh protests, India, citizenship law, CAA, Aligarh Muslim University


At least 100 people were injured in the clashes in Delhi.

Anger with Modi's government was further fueled by allegations of police brutality at Jamia Millia Islamia university on Sunday, when officers entered the campus in the capital New Delhi and fired tear gas to break up a protest. At least 100 people were injured in the clashes there.

There were similar scenes at the Aligarh Muslim University in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where police also clashed with protesters on the campus.

Hundreds of activists gathered outside the New Delhi police headquarters on Sunday night to protest against alleged police brutality and the detention of students.

The most violent protests during the past few day took place in the northeastern state of Assam, where mobs torched buildings and train stations, angry the law would help thousands of immigrants from Bangladesh become lawful citizens. At least two people were killed in the violent clashes with police.

Under the law passed by parliament last week, religious minorities such as Hindus and Christians in neighboring Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who have settled in India prior to 2015 will have a path to Indian citizenship on grounds they faced persecution in those countries.

Students stand shirtless to demand probe against cops

A group of Jamia Millia Islamia students stood shirtless in the bone chilling cold outside the varsity campus today morning to protest against the police action on students.

Students raised slogans of "Inquilab Zindabad", and also took out a march, demanding CBI inquiry into the police crackdown.

Students claimed that the police on Sunday damaged two mosques on the university campus, beat up the Imam and also a blind student, who was in the library.

"The government is anti-minority, anti-students, anti-poor. We won't tolerate this. We won't keep mum," they added.

Don't let vested groups divide India: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a series of tweets on Monday has said while dissent is an essential part of democracy, violence is not. He was articulating government's stand on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act.

"Violent protests on the Citizenship Amendment Act are unfortunate and deeply distressing. Debate, discussion and dissent are essential parts of democracy but, never has damage to public property and disturbance of normal life been a part of our ethos," said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said the need of the hour is for all to work together for empowerment of every Indian, especially the poor, downtrodden and marginalised. Blaming the violence on "vested interest groups", the PM alleged that they are out to divide India and create disturbances.

Tamil Nadu students protest against CAA

College students in Tamil Nadu on Monday protested against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, expressing solidarity with students of Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi who had clashed with the police.
Members of Students Federation of India (SFI) protested outside the Chennai Suburban Railway Terminal against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

The students shouted slogans against the law, state and central governments.

Students of Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) took out a procession inside the campus. Similarly, students of Loyola College here also protested.

CPI-M and Congress jointly protest in Kerala

The Kerala political canvas is seeing a rare instance when top leaders of the ruling CPM-led Left and the rival Congress-led UDF jointly protested against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan led the Left, while the opposition and Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala led the UDF when the protest started at the Martyrs Column.  Vijayan has reiterated his stand that the CAA will not be implemented in the state.

"The sound that has come from Kerala is we will not allow the secularism stand of ours to be diluted in any way. All this is the work of the RSS to convert India into a religion-based country. At no cost would this be allowed to take place and in Kerala, we just cannot accept it and under no circumstances would it be allowed to be implemented here," said Vijayan.

Chennithala said that this is not what the country needs and the basic tenets of the Constitution have been questioned through the CAA.

"The media has been silenced as it's now owned by corporates, whose only agenda is pro-government. The stage is such that today it's Amit Shah who decides who is going to be an Indian citizen. Our Constitution is one of the best in the world and every institution in the country is a by-product of it and today, one by one these institutions are being destroyed," said Chennithala.

Protests in Bengaluru

Thousands of Bengalureans protested here against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), calling the movement another 'freedom struggle'.

The protest took place on the Sunday evening. The former Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B) professor called on the protesters to take a pledge to fight for an inclusive India and celebrate diversity.

"I urge everyone to join the struggle to save the soul of our country," Gowda said as he participated in the demonstration at the Townhall in Bengaluru.

A huge flexi poster was hung to the columns of the Acropolis-styled Townhall facade with the inscription 'India Against CAA' and the preamble of the Constitution of India juxtaposed.

The protesters waved the Karnataka state flag, Indian flag and placards as they sloganeered against the new law offering selective citizenship to the persecuted Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Zoroastrians from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, excluding all kinds of persecuted Muslims.

Violence erupts in Nadwa college

Violence erupted at the Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama in Lucknow on Monday, as students came out in support of Delhi's Jamia Millia University and Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh Muslim University students, who had clashed with police on Sunday over the newly enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

The Nadwa college students protested against the Delhi and Aligarh Police. As the police here closed the gates of the college from outside, students pelted stones at the policemen from inside

After some time, stone pelting stopped and Lucknow SSP Kalanidhi Naithani claimed that students had returned to their classes.

Delhi traffic Advisory: Avoid Ashram, take DND route

Traffic restrictions continued on Monday in some parts of Delhi, a day after the national capital witnessed massive violence against the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act.

Traffic movement was closed from Sarita Vihar to Road No. 13 A of the Kalindi Kunj area of Delhi. "Motorists heading towards Delhi from Noida are requested to take the Mathura Road, Ashram and DND and those coming from Badarpur side take Ashram chowk", read traffic advisory from the Delhi Traffic Police.

It also advised commuters from Noida to take the DND flyway or the Akshardham to reach Noida, in pursuit to avoid Ashram, where more demonstrations are expected on Monday.

Supreme Court to hear Jamia-Aligarh protests matter on Dec 17

The Supreme Court said it will hold a hearing on the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, held in Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia University and Uttar Pradesh's Aligarh Muslim University on Tuesday.

Chief Justice S.A. Bobde said the Supreme Court would not be bullied, and cannot be held to ransom while public properties are destroyed. He said that the court is not saying students are responsible or police are innocent.

The court observed that just being students, they can't take the law into their own hands, adding the it would hear the matter on Tuesday if no violent protests take place.

Non-violent Satyagraha is the way: Rahul

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, in a subtle message to the anti-CAA protesters asked them to take up "non-violent Satyagraha" to anti-Citizenship Act and anti-NRC protesters.

"The CAB & NRC are weapons of mass polarisation unleashed by fascists on India. The best defence against these dirty weapons is peaceful, non-violent Satyagraha," the former Congress president wrote on Twitter on Monday. "I stand in solidarity with all those protesting peacefully against the CAB & NRC," he added.

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