Anti-CAB Stir: Bengal burns, Jamia violence Ends in Lathicharge, Assam Remains on Edge :- Thousands of people defied curfew in Guwahati on Thursday and took to the streets, prompting police to open fire, even as protests against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill intensified in Assam. Anti-CAB agitations were also registered in Aligarh, Ahmedabad and Goa as people demanded an immediate withdrawal of the amendment in the Citizenship Act, which provides citizenship to non-Muslims refugees who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan in an attempt to flee religious persecution.
Anti-CAB Stir: Bengal burns, Jamia violence Ends in Lathicharge
Students’ body AASU and peasants’ organisation KMSS called for a mega gathering at Latashil playground in the city, which was attended by hundreds of people. Notwithstanding the restrictions, several prominent personalities from the film and music industry, including icon Zueen Garg, joined the gathering along with college and university students.
AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya said at the meet, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal have betrayed the people of Assam by ensuring passage of the Bill.”
However, AASU later announced that no protest will be held for a week against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act as the matter awaits hearing the Supreme Court.
On Friday, the city remained under a strict lockdown as 26 columns of Army kept a check on violence. Few vehicles plied on Guwahati roads as curfew and internet shutdown remained in place. While several flights to Guwahati airport were cancelled, the passengers who came in on the few operating flights found themselves stranded on the airport as no taxis operated on city roads.
Meanwhile on Friday, multiple Muslims organisations in West Bengal gave a clarion call to stage protests against the amended Citizenship Act after the Friday namaz. Peaceful protests against the exclusion of Muslim migrants in the CAB were observed in Kolkata, Arambagh, West Midnapur, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas. However, agitations in Howarah and Murshidabad turned violent.
A major unrest as the protesters vandalised the railway station and the police station in Beldanga in Murshidabad which led to injury to a cop due to the violent protest.
Meanwhile, multiple long distance and local trains in the Howrah section were stranded due to the violence.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee reviewed the situation of law and order in the state as several people staged protests against the amended Citizenship Act, for which she held a meeting with Bengal DG, ADG and top other officials. Meanwhile she also slammed the central govt. for the bill and called it ‘torture upon humanity’.
Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar has also appealed to everyone to maintain peace and calm.
Meanwhile, the National capital Delhi was also rocked by anti-CAB stirs as students of Jamia Milia Islamia University took to streets to protest against the exclusion of Muslim immigrants from the provisions of new Citizenship Act.
As the student protest turned violent the reports of stone-pelting, lathicharge, tear-gas shelling and barricade charging came from the scene of the agitation. At least three Delhi policemen were injured and 50 students were detained.
The students had clashed with the police after they were stopped from taking out a march to Parliament House from the university campus on Friday to express their opposition to the amended Citizenship Act.
According to Shifa Ur Rehman Khan, President of the Jamia Old Boys Association, “Around 56 students have been injured in the altercation with the police and 60 of them detained at the Badarpur police station. Messages of support are coming in from Jamia alumni from all around the world and the university faculty and employees are also also standing with us in support. The locals have also joined the students. CAB is unconstitutional and our protest shall not end till it has been scrapped.”
Meanwhile in Aligarh, hundreds of Aligarh Muslim University students and teachers organised separate protest marches and handed over two memorandums to authorities, demanding immediate withdrawal of the amendments made to the Citizenship Act.
The district administration has blocked internet services in Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh since midnight in view of the protests planned against the amended Citizenship Act and to ensure peace and order.
Goa’s Margao also witnessed Anti-CAB protests in which people took to streets to demand a more inclusive CAB. The protesters raised slogans such as ‘Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Issai. Hum sab Bhai bhai’ and ‘Amka naka Amka naka.. CAB amka naka’.
Gujarat’s Ahmedabad also witnessed anti-Cab protests.
Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India has been postponed, who was coming to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Guwahati for a summit on December 15.
Home Minister Amit Shah and a parliamentary panel on home affairs also postponed their visits to Northeast over law and order situation.
Assam, CM Sarbananda Sonowal blamed Congress and communal forces for the ongoing anti-CAB protests in Assam and said that no one who is involved in the violence will be spared.
Meanwhile, despite the heavy resistance in north-east President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent for the Bill late Thursday night.