Citizenship Amendment Act protests Updates: In order to remove the "misconceptions" from people's minds about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the Gujarat BJP plans to organise a number of programmes in the state, including door-to-door campaigns, meetings and 'Run for CAA'.
Rahul Gandhi said, "No India should allow Modi-Shah to divide India the way they are doing."
Even as protests against the amended citizenship act continued in many parts of the country, including in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune, curfew was relaxed for seven hours in parts of Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.
"Curfew was relaxed for seven hours on Sunday from 1pm in four police station limits. Mobile internet service has also resumed in the city. Curfew was relaxed so that people could buy essential items," Additional Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar Tripathi told PTI.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday made an unscheduled visit to Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh and met families of two persons, killed in recent violence over the amended citizenship law.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma, in response to Prime MInister Narendra Modi's speech, claimed that the Opposition had not raised the issue of the NRC "in vacuum".
"The Home Minister's statement in both the Houses are in the public domain. They have to be then duly clarified. Those statements have created an environment of fear, insecurity and uncertainty in the country. It is primarily the governemnt which is responsible for that," he said.
Even as Narendra Modi was addressing a rally at Delhi's Ramlila Maidan, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and said,"Dear youth of India, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have destroyed your future. We can only defeat them by responding with love towards every Indian."
Narendra Modi on Sunday alleged that the entire Left front, which is left in "small pockets in the country, is opposing this as well." He said "Prakash Karat, their senior leader, had also asked for support for religiously persecuted people coming from Bangladesh. "These people have always done vote-bank politics. Everything ever said by them was a lie," he alleged. He attacked Opposition for agitating people for "their votes, spreading violence, and are spreading false rumours."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused his rivals of stoking fears among people and misleading Muslims over the amended citizenship law, and asserted that his government's schemes have never done any discrimination on the basis of religion. Addressing a rally at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, he said the citizenship law and the proposed National Register of Citizens have nothing to do with Indian Muslims.
A lie is being spread that this government had brought the law to snatch people's rights, the prime minister said and dared rivals to find anything discriminatory in his work. "Few Opposition parties are going to an extreme for their own benefit. They are spreading all kinds of rumours, misleading people and stoking their emotions against citizenship law." Narendra Modi during the mega rally in Delhi. Modi further accused rivals of creating fear and chaos, and trying to defame India abroad. He further appeals to his anti-CAA protestors saying they "should burn my effigy if they hate me but they should not target the poor."
He further alleged that Muslims were being misled, and said "I have always ensured that documents will never come in way of development schemes and their beneficiaries."
Narendra Modi finally broke his silence on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on Sunday during the mega-rally in Delhi's Ramlila Maida. He asked the people present at the rally to "hail Parliament for passing the act". He further stated that CAA will help the marginalised and asked the country to stand up and "show your respect to the lawmakers." He slammed 'some parties' of spreading lies and fake information about the act. He said that the government was not stripping anyone of its rights.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is greeted on stage at the Ramlila Maidan for giving ownership rights to 40 lakh residents of 1,731 unauthorised colonies in Delhi. He kicks off the BJP's campaign for the upcoming Delhi assembly elections by addressing the rally amid nationwide Citizenship Amendment Act protests.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said here on Sunday that Muslims of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have the option to go to as many as 150 Islamic countries in the world while persecuted minorities in three neighbouring countries have nowhere to go except India to take recluse. He was addressing a rally in support of Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 here in Nagpur on Sunday. 'The Muslims who come from these three countries are not called refugees while the Hindus, Jain, Parsis, Sikh, Christians etc are called refugees,' said Gadkari.
The CAA and the NRC are India's 'internal issues', Bangladesh Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen has said, but voiced concern that any 'uncertainty' in the country is likely to affect its neighbours. Amid raging protests over the controversial citizenship law across India, Momen hoped that the situation 'cools down' and the neighbouring country 'can get out of it'.
Thousands of people have gathered at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi for Narendra Modi's mega rally that marks the beginning of BJP's campaign for the Delhi Assembly elections. Modi is expected to bring up the CAA issue in his speech, given the widespread protests against the amended Citizenship Act across the capital and the country. According to Times of India, BJP has claimed that an estimated two lakh attendees from across the north India are coming to the event aboard 3,000 buses.
Thousands of people have gathered at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi for Narendra Modi' mega rally on Sunday. Twitter/@BJP4India
Uttar Pradesh's DGP, OP Singh on Sunday denied permission to a four members delegation of All India Trinamool Congress from visiting Lucknow today. He told ANI, "We have come to know that some political leaders of TMC want to visit here (Lucknow). We will not permit them for the same as section 144 is imposed in the area and it can make the atmosphere more tense." A four-member delegation of All India Trinamool Congress was expected to be visiting Lucknow on Sunday to meet the grieving families of those who were killed in police firing. The delegation which is expected to reach Lucknow on 22 December would be led by Dinesh Trivedi.
Amid protests across India against the amended Citizenship Act, a group of social activists and citizens on Sunday organised a pro-CAA rally in Bengaluru after prohibitory orders have been lifted. The rally, “India Supports CAA”, will take place in Sir Puttana Chetty Town Hall from 10 am, organisers told The Indian Express. Similarly, hundreds of Lok Adhikar Manch workers gathered in Nagpur on Sunday morning to hold a rally in support of the newly-enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, which is largely being opposed across the country.
According to ANI, internet services have been restored in Aligarh. Services were suspended from 15 December after violence broke out during protests over Citizenship Amendment Act. Meanwhile, internet services remain suspended in Meerut till 5 pm on Sunday in view of the recent violence in Uttar Pradesh during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Internet services have also been suspended in Prayagraj district till Monday, reports ANI.
Sixty-five people were arrested and 350, including a former legislator, booked here for allegedly spreading violence over the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), police said on Saturday. A special drive has been launched to nab miscreants resorting to violence and pelting stones on police during protests, they said. More than 65 people have been arrested and FIRs registered against 350 anti-social elements, Senior Superintendent of Police Sudhir Kumar Singh told PTI. An FIR has been also lodged against former Loni MLA Zakir Ali, he added. Singh said miscreants have been identified and will be arrested soon.
One person died as clashes broke out during protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, taking the toll in the state from Thursday to 16. Internet services have been restored in Aligarh. Services were suspended from 15 December after violence broke out during protests over Citizenship Amendment Act.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally on Sunday at Delhi's Ramlila Maidan, which is a little over a kilometre away from Old Delhi's Daryaganj that was hit by violence on Friday during a protest against the amended Citizenship Act. In a statement, senior BJP leader Vijay Goel said preparations for the rally, which is being organised to thank Modi for giving ownership rights to 40 lakh residents of 1731 unauthorised colonies, are in full swing.
Meanwhile, the Congress, led by party interim chief Sonia Gandhi, has decided to stage a silent protest at Rajghat on Sunday afternoon demanding protection for the Constitution and the rights of people as enshrined in it.
Top leaders of the party including its former president Rahul Gandhi and its general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are likely to participate in the 'satyagrah dharna' till the evening, sources said. The decision to hold the silent protest was taken at a meeting of top party leaders at Sonia Gandhi's residence on Monday evening, they said. The sources, however, said the party was yet to get permission for holding the protest at Rajghat: a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi.
One person died as clashes broke out during protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, taking the toll in the state from Thursday to 16. Large-scale vandalism during a bandh called by the Rashtriya Janata Dal in the neighbouring state of Bihar disrupted road and rail traffic. The Congress, Left and other Opposition parties led demonstrations in many states including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland and West Bengal, demanding that the contentious law be scrapped.
One person died and several people were injured in clashes between anti-CAA protesters, who pelted stones and indulged in arson, and police in Rampur in UP, officials said. Protestors set ablaze Yatimkhana police post in Kanpur and indulged in heavy brickbatting, leading to injuries to many people including policemen, a senior official said. Police used cane-charge and tear gas to chase them away.
UP police said as many as 705 persons have been arrested and 4,500 were detained for the violence during the last two days. They said 260 security personnel were injured, of whom 57 suffered gunshot wounds.
A day after massive protests and clashes in the national capital, Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad was arrested when he came outside Jama Masjid, where he had taken part in a demonstration on Friday, and was later sent to judicial custody for 14 days by a court.
Police and paramilitary personnel carried out flag march in violence-hit areas, even as scores of people held peaceful demonstrations against the amended Citizenship Act at several places, including at India Gate, Jamia Millia Islamia, Rajghat, Uttar Pradesh Bhawan. Police said no untoward incident was reported.
Fifteen people arrested for Friday's violence in Daryaganj were remanded in judicial custody for two days, while 11 others were sent to jail for a fortnight in connection with the Seemapuri incident.
The situation in Assam, where protesters carried out rallies against the amended law, was peaceful while mobile internet services were restored in Meghalaya.
Thousands of university students hit the streets and marched towards state BJP headquarters in Kolkata demanding roll back of the law. A scuffle broke out between the police and the protesters when some tried to break through the police barricades and head towards the party office. The Youth Congress organized a march to Raj Bhavan in the afternoon.
In Bihar, carrying bamboo sticks and party flags, supporters of bandh called by Rashtriya Janata Dal, against the amended Citizenship Act gathered at bus stands, railway tracks and other vantage points in all districts of the state since the crack of dawn, unfazed by the winter fog and chilly winds.
They squatted on railway tracks, disrupting train movement, and blocked bus terminuses at various places to enforce the day-long bandh.
The protesters also smashed windshields of taxis and three-wheelers and damaged cycle-rickshaws that plied on the roads in defiance of the call for the shutdown at the towns of Bhagalpur, Muzaffarpur and outskirts of Patna.
A vehicle torched allegedly by protestors during a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), at Phulwarisharif in Patna Saturday. PTI
Protests continued in many cities in the southern states. CPM activist tried to block trains at the railway station in Chennai but their attempts were foiled by police.
The Congress in Kerala led by its top leaders held demonstrations in all district headquarters of the state. There were scuffles at several places in Tamil and Kerala between police and protesters who tried to break barricades.
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa visited Mangaluru and met the families of two persons who were killed in police firing there on Thursday during violent anti-CAA protests. Police detained CPI Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala Binoy Viswam and some party activists who staged a protest in the city against the CAA defying curfew.
Amid the countrywide stir against the Citizenship Act, BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) urged the Centre to include Muslims in the new law by bringing an amendment to it and said there should not be any exclusion on the basis of religion.
"We strongly feel that the Muslim community should be included in it (amended Citizenship Act)," SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said in Patiala.
BSP president Mayawati asked the Centre to give up its "stubborn stand" on the new citizenship law and NRC and withdraw its decisions as now "voices opposed to the CAA and NRC have started coming from within the NDA".
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said that like eight other states, Maharashtra should also refuse implementation of the new citizenship law, which he feared would hurt the religious and social harmony of India.
Unfazed by the criticism, the BJP announced that it will start a mass contact programme to expose opposition parties' "lies" and apprise people of the details of the law to assure them that it is not against existing citizens.
Party general secretary Bhupender Yadav told reporters that the BJP, within the next 10 days, will contact more than three crore families, organise a rally in every district and hold over 250 press conferences across the country.
Despite restrictions on movement and Internet services, BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, which was hit by large scale violent protests after Friday prayers, saw more clashes on Saturday.
Amid a bandh call in Rampur against the CAA, around 400 to 500 protestors, including children in the age group of 12-18 years, gathered at some distance from the Eidgah in the city and stones were pelted at policemen, leading to clashes, officials said.
"Of the five injured, four were referred to Meerut for treatment where one died, while another is in a serious condition. Around a dozen protestors have been detained," District Magistrate (DM) Aunjaneya Singh told PTI.
Samajwadi Party MLA Amitabh Bajpai was arrested as a precautionary measure and his vehicles seized in Kanpur, police said.
After a lull of four days, the Aligarh Muslim University campus again witnessed protests with hundreds of non-teaching staff joining hands with teachers' association to oppose the CAA and police action against students. The AMU has set up a one-man judicial panel to conduct an internal inquiry into violent incidents that took place on the campus on 15 and 16 December. Police earlier said at least 15 people, including an eight-year-old boy, lost their lives in the state since Thursday in the state.
Over 260 policemen were also injured, of whom 57 received gunshot wounds, IG (Law and Order) Praveen Kumar said. Director-General of Police OP Singh claimed women and children were used as "shields by the protestors". He maintained that police did not open fire and suggested the deaths were due to cross firing between protestors.
"We are clear and transparent in this. If anyone died due to our fire we will conduct a judicial inquiry and take action. But nothing happened from our side," he said.
So far 218 people have been arrested in Lucknow, he said.
Clashes with police were reported after Friday prayers from Bhadohi, Bahraich, Amroha, Farurukhabad, Ghaziabad, Varanasi, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Hapur, Hathras, Bulandshahr, Hamirpur and Mahoba districts and cases have been registered. Internet had been suspended in major cities, including Lucknow.
Tejashwi Yadav, leader of the opposition in Bihar Assembly, marched in a large procession against the amended Citizenship Act from the party office in Bir Chand Patel Marg in Patna to Dak Bungalow crossing, throwing traffic on the busy Fraser Road and Bailey Road out of gear.
At some places in Patna, workers of the RJD, known for their strong arm tactics to enforce bandhs, presented people with roses and urged them with folded hands to support the shutdown in "national interest".
The shutdown, which came two days after a bandh was called on the same issue by Left parties, is being supported by other constituents of the Grand Alliance like the Congress and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP).
Movement of at least seven trains was affected for periods ranging from 30 minutes to over an hour at various stations, the East Central Railway, headquartered at Hajipur in the state, said in a statement.
In Muzaffarpur, the largest north Bihar town, RJD and Congress leaders sat on highways, major road and railway crossings to enforce the bandh. At places like Brahmpura, they clashed with shopkeepers who were reluctant to down their shutters.
Reports of the bandh disrupting normal business and vehicular traffic have been received from districts like Munger, Bhagalpur, Begusarai, Jehanabad and Nawada as well.
In Meghalaya, curfew imposed in Sadar and Lumdiengjri police station limits in Shillong was relaxed for 16 hours from 5 am on Saturday and no untoward incident was reported in these areas in the past 24 hours, East Khasi Hills District Magistrate M W Nongbri said. Protesters took out peaceful rallies in Assam against the amended Citizenship Act at various places, police said.
The curfew imposed in Dibrugarh following violent protests against the Act was relaxed for 16 hours since 6 am on Saturday as the law and order situation improved, they said. Mobile internet services were restored on Friday in Assam after nine days of its suspension while broadband services had resumed on 18 December.
According to sources, the West Bengal police have stepped up vigil and beefed up security arrangements in various parts of the state in order to prevent any untoward incident.
The state had witnessed violence and arson from 13 to 17 December during protests against the new citizenship law. More than 600 people have been arrested so far for their alleged involvement in arson and violence in the state, police said.
Senior Congress leaders including Ramesh Chennithala, Mullappally Ramachandran, Shashi Tharoor, Benny Behanan and M M Hassan participated in anti-CAA protests held in all district headquarters of Kerala.
In some places including Kochi, Wayanad and Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram the workers tried to break the police barricades and enter central government institutions, leading to minor scuffles with police personnel.
"It is a fight against authoritarianism and fascism. The government is using brute force to silence the people who are on the streets against the law meant to divide the people of the country on religious lines," Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Chennithala alleged while addressing the protesters.
In Tamil Nadu, outfits affiliated to the CPI(M) including the Democratic Youth Federation of India, and Students Federation of India attempted to block trains at the MGR Central Railway Station complex in the state capital, leading to scuffles with police.
Communist Party of India veteran Nallakannu led the march to Raj Bhavan as part of the party's "besiege Raj Bhavan" agitation in which scores of Congress workers, volunteers of outfits including the CPI-affiliated All India Students' Federation, took part.
They were stopped near the Taluk Office Road-Little Mount point. Protests were held at Kumbakonam and other parts of Tamil Nadu as well by various outfits including Islamic bodies.
During his visit to Mangaluru, Yediyurappa also met representatives of Christian and Muslim communities, political leaders and officials.
He appealed for peace and said he has instructed the district administration to provide compensation to the families of the victims as per law.
Curfew is in place within the city commissionerate till Sunday midnight in view of violence during Thursday protests. The chief minister promised relaxation in curfew. Six people, including CPI Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala Binoy Viswam were detained when they staged a protest in the city against the CAA defying curfew.
Police have restricted the entry of former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in Mangaluru during the period of curfew. Meanwhile, as many as 1,100 academicians and research scholars from various universities across India and abroad as well as prominent persons released a statement in support of the amended Citizenship Act.
The signatories to the statement include Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta, Shishir Bajoria, Chairman, IIM Shillong, Sunaina Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Nalanda University and JNU professor Ainul Hasan, Abhijit Iyer-Mitra.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Dec 22, 2019 23:45:28 IST