New Delhi/Lucknow/Bengaluru: One person was killed in Lucknow and two in Mangaluru as protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act turned violent in some parts of the country on Thursday, forcing administration to impose curfew and curtail internet services.
However, in the national and financial capitals of India, "no untoward incidents was reported". Delhi Police PRO Mandeep Singh Randhawa said the force is closely monitoring social media and WhatsApp groups to check rumour mongering. At the August Kranti Maidan in Mumbai, there were peaceful protests during the three hours of agitation.
Over 2,000 police personnel at the venue did not come in the way of protesters, which earned the Mumbai Police plaudits on social media. Many protesters, before leaving, made it a point to shake hands with the policemen. Groups of youngsters were also seen singing while walking to the nearby Grant Road Railway station.
Amid protests against the amended Citizenship Act, BJP working president J P Nadda asserted that the law will be implemented and the National Register of Citizens will also be brought in. "Those who are opposing the citizenship law should meet them. These people have been living in India for 28-30 years but can't admit their children in schools or buy a house as they do not have citizenship. Our rivals cannot see anything beyond their vote bank politics," Nadda said.
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa also tried to allay fears among the Muslim community, saying that it was his government's responsibility to protect their interest. Calling for peace, amid protests against the CAA in various parts of the state defying prohibitory orders, he accused the Congress party of being behind it and warned them of consequences.
West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh slammed CM Mamata Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress supremo, for allegedly instigating people against the central government, the BJP leader said she is frustrated as her dream of becoming the prime minister did not see the light of the day.
"No Indian has the urge to destroy national properties. Those who have ravaged public properties and wreaked havoc in West Bengal for last few days in support of the chief minister of the state are the enemies of the country. These lungi clad infiltrators can be only identified through the NRC," Ghosh asserted.
In Uttar Pradesh
A Lucknow man was killed as violence erupted in the state capital and some other parts of Uttar Pradesh with protesters, angry over the new citizenship law, pelting stones at police and torching vehicles.
Mohammad Wakeel (25) suffered a firearm injury when he was passing through an old city area where the clashes took place, his family said. But police denied that this had anything to do with the protests or the police action. The scattered incidents of violence were reported from Lucknow's old city and parts of Sambhal and Mau districts.
Two buses were torched, one in Lucknow and the other in Sambhal. Mobs also targeted two police posts in the state capital, setting one of them ablaze. Police resorted to lathi-charge and used tear-gas shells at several places.
Eighteen police personnel 16 in Lucknow and two in Sambhal — were injured, they said. Altogether, 112 protesters were detained in connection with the violence in the state. Police also held over 3,000 people under preventive detention.
Internet services remained suspended for at least part of the day at various places, including Lucknow, Aligarh, Sambhal, Mau and Azamgarh districts. Section 144 of the CrPc, which bans assembly of people, was already in force in the entire state for several days.
Late at the night, the Uttar Pradesh government ordered suspension of mobile internet, SMS services till Saturday noon following violent protests.
In Sambhal district's Chaudhary Rai area, a public bus was set ablaze and another damaged as a protest turned violent, District Magistrate Avinash K Singh said. Some protesters also pelted stones at a police station there, he said. "Internet services have been suspended as a precautionary measure to prevent rumour-mongering," he said.
In Mau, protesters hurled stones, triggering a large deployment of UP's Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC). Several Aligarh Muslim University teachers held a silent march, days after the institute witnessed violence when students protested against the new legislation that they say discriminates against Muslim. The protesters, including several women teachers, marched from the AMU Teachers' Club to the Purani Chungi Crossing.
Two persons were killed in police firing at Mangaluru in BJP-ruled Karnataka as protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act turned violent, even as street demonstrations surged in southern cities. Police have clamped curfew in parts of Mangaluru until Friday night.
Police sources said protesters defying prohibitory orders attempted to lay siege to the Mangalore North police station and tried to attack police personnel, following which force was used to disperse them.
Two persons received bullet injuries in police firing and they later succumbed at a hospital, police confirmed. The deceased were identified as Jaleel Kudroli (49) and Nausheen (23).
A government order said that mobile internet services suspended in Mangaluru city and Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka for 48 hours. Prominent citizens hit the streets in Bengaluru and Chennai alongside students, activists and the general public to oppose the contentious law.
In Assam, Bengal & Bihar
Protests against contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act continued unabated across Assam on Thursday but there was no report of any violence during the stir which was also the case in West Bengal and Meghalaya.
But, Bihar witnessed vandalism and arsons during the day on account of a state-wide shutdown called by Left parties to protest against new citizenship law and proposed NRC across the nation.
Continuing her tirade against the Centre, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee threw a challenge to Narendra Modi government to go for a UN-monitored referendum over the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed NRC.
In Assam, opposition Congress observed 'Mass Satyagraha' across the state with their former ministers, MPs, MLAs, senior leaders and other members sitting at different places. The Left Democratic Mancha (LDM), comprising CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), RCPI, Janata Dal (S), NCP, LDP, AAP and Asom Sangrami Mancha, also organised sit-in demonstration in Guwahati and other places of the state.
All Assam Students' Union (AASU) strongly criticising the Vice Chancellors' appeal to students not to join the stir. VCs of about 20 government and private universities in Assam, which experienced mass protests against the amended Citizenship Act and mayhem, had earlier made an appeal to students not to endanger their future but help in maintaining peace and harmony in the state.
Thousands of students, activists and opposition leaders hit the streets in the national capital on Thursday defying heavy security clampdown and prohibitory orders even as authorities suspended mobile internet services and restricted traffic movement to quell the swirling agitation.
Opposition leaders D Raja, Sitaram Yechury, Nilotpal Basu, Brinda Karat, Ajay Maken, Sandeep Dikshit and activists Yogendra Yadav, Umar Khalid were among over 1,200 people detained from areas around Red Fort and Mandi House — the sites of the two planned demonstrations.
Large parts of Delhi and Gurgaon reeled under massive traffic jams for hours as police erected barricades to check the movement of protesters. Entry and exit gates of at least 20 Delhi Metro stations were shut for up to eight hours.
Notwithstanding the restrictions, hundreds of flag-waving students and activists converged near the historic Jantar Mantar in the afternoon to voice their anger against the contentious law after police forcefully evicted protesters from areas around Red Fort and Mandi House. Permission for holding any demonstration in the two sites was not granted.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the financial capital against the Citizenship Act on Thursday, converging at the August Kranti Maidan, where Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 told the British to quit India.
The gathering included workers of political parties, students and a smattering of Bollywood personalities, who made out a strong case against the Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Despite it being a work day, the protesters began trickling in from all the corners this afternoon to the ground in south Mumbai, from where the Mahatma had given the clarion call of Quit India against the colonial British rule.
The protest in Mumbai was called by a slew of opposition parties like the CPI and civil society groups, but the gathering seemed to transcend all identities. Students from Assam, a few Mumbaikars hailing from Mizoram and others joined the locals in the protests that began at 4 pm and dwarfed a pro-CAA gathering organised outside the Churchgate railway station not far away. Bollywood personalities including actors Farhan Akhtar, Sushant Singh, Swara Bhaskar and film makers Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Saeed Mirza were also present at the Maidan.
(With PTI inputs)