Anti-CAA protests today: Sonia, Rahul Gandhi to lead Congress' silent dharna, drones likely to maintain vigil over DMK rally in Chennai

  • Interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and senior leader Rahul Gandhi will lead a silent protest against the amended Citizenship Act, NRC at Delhi’s Raj Ghat

  • Drones will maintain vigil over the protests led by the DMK and its 11 allies in Chennai from 10 am onwards

  • At the protest at Delhi's Assam Bhawan, protesters will seek the release of peasant leader Akhil Gogoi and the end of repression in Assam

Interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and senior leader Rahul Gandhi will lead a silent protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens at Delhi’s Raj Ghat from 3 pm onwards.

"Dear students and youth of India, it's not good enough just to feel Indian. At times like these it's critical to show that you're Indian and won't allow India to be destroyed by hatred. Join me today at 3 pm at Raj Ghat, to protest against the hate and violence unleashed on India by Modi-Shah (sic)," Rahul tweeted.

Meanwhile, drones will maintain vigil over the protests led by the DMK and its 11 allies in Chennai from 10 am onwards. The protest will be held today after the Madras High Court in an emergency ruling on Sunday gave the interim order for videographing using drones if a rally is held in Chennai against the amended Citizenship Act, despite police having rejected permission to hold the same.

Soon after the court’s ruling, DMK chief MK Stalin said that the ruling party (AIADMK) tried to stop the rally. “It is a huge victory for us. We will take out our rally abiding by the law,” he said.

Other protests in the National Capital will be held at the Uttar Pradesh Bhawan and Assam Bhawan. The protest at UP Bhawan will be held at 11 am, even as the toll in violent incidents witnessed by the state amid protests rose to 17. The UP Police in a statement on Sunday said that 879 people have been arrested and 5,312 taken into custody as a preventive measure. So far, 164 cases have been registered, it said.

All schools in the city area of Aligarh district will remain closed on 23 December, while internet services will remain suspended in Firozabad and Prayagraj till Monday and Tuesday respectively.

The protest at Assam Bhawan is scheduled to commence at 2 pm. Protesters will seek the release of peasant leader Akhil Gogoi and the end of repression in Assam. A special court of National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Guwahati sent Gogoi to a 10-day NIA custody on 17 December, after he was arrested by the police in Jorhat on 12 December.

Folowing the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 by the Parliament on 11 December, protests erupted in the north eastern states. Assam, however, witnessed some of the most violent protests, with three rail stations, a post office, a bank, a bus terminus, shops, dozens of vehicles and many other public properties being set ablaze or totally damaged.

Five persons, including four in firing by security forces, lost their lives since 11 December. Several towns and cities were placed under indefinite curfew, including Guwahati, the epicentre of protests, besides Dibrugarh, Tezpur and Dhekiajuli. Night curfew was imposed in Jorhat, Golaghat, Tinsukia and Charaideo districts.

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In Bengaluru, over 35 organisations will gather at the Quddus Eidgah ground between 10 am and 1 pm to protest the citizenship law, even as Section 144 was lifted from the city after Saturday midnight. Students at the Pondicherry University will boycott the convocation ceremony, which will have President Ram Nath Kovind as the chief guest, as a sign of protest. Additionally, a protest will also be held in Kochi at 1 pm

After the passage of the citizenship legislation, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) released a statement, asking India to ensure the safety of the Muslim minority and the protection of Islamic holy places in India.

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Updated Date: Dec 23, 2019 10:26:26 IST