Anti-CAA protests: 8 die as violence grips India; women, children detained in Delhi
Eight people died across the country during widespread protests and violence against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Five people died in Uttar Pradesh on Friday. While two people died in Bijnor, one died in Kanpur, one in Firozabad and another one in Sambhal.
On Thursday, three people had died during the demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Two persons died in Karnataka’s Mangaluru and another one died in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
The cause of death would be known after a post-mortem on the victims, officials said. Director-General of Police O P Singh has, however, maintained that none of the deaths were due to police action on the protesters.
Protesters clashed with police during anti-CAA demonstrations in Bhadohi, Bahraich, Amroha, Farurukhabad, Ghaziabad, Varanasi, Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Hapur, Hathras, Bulandshahr, Hamirpur and Mahoba districts in Uttar Pradesh.
Mobile internet services remain suspended in Aligarh, Mau, Azamgarh, Lucknow, Kanpur, Bareilly, Shahjahanpur, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Sambhal and Allahabad in view of the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Security forces were put on high alert on Friday in various parts of the country including in Kerala and Karanataka where protesters disrupted road and rail traffic after last night’s death of two persons in alleged police firing during protests against the amended citizenship law.
Prohibitory orders were imposed in 12 police station areas of Northeast Delhi. Violent protests were reported from Delhi Gate area in Daryaganj, Delhi. A car which was parked outside the DCP’s office in Daryaganj was torched.
The protesters and the police clashed in the area, resulting in the latter resorting to water cannons to disperse the crowd. At least 40 people demonstrating against the Citizenship Act at Delhi Gate were detained by the Delhi Police.
Massive protests were held at Jama Masjid and India Gate in Delhi on Friday evening. In the national capital, additional security arrangements were made in view of the Friday prayers and prohibitory orders were imposed in sensitive areas.
Bhim Army said police first tried to detain party chief Chandrashekhar Azad at Jama Masjid but he managed to get away, before later being detained near Daryaganj.
Besides, the Delhi Police used drones to keep a vigil on the protests across the city. At one point in time, Delhi Metro had closed its exit and entry gates to 16 Metro stations, including in the Old Delhi areas.
People carrying out a march from Jama Masjid area in Delhi to Jantar Mantar were stopped near Delhi Gate as police barricaded all the arterial roads in the area, triggering traffic jams. After the violence erupted in the area, the police barricaded Delhi Gate.
Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests were also held for the fifth day outside Jamia Millia Islamia. A sea of protesters, including university students, locals and children, took out marches carrying posters, banners and tricolours.
In Kerala, police were directed to maintain high vigil in northern districts in the wake of the killing of two persons in Mangaluru in neighbouring Karnataka.
Internet mobile services were suspended in Bulandshahr from 3 pm onwards to quell spread of rumours. Meanwhile, internet mobile services have been restored in Assam.
In order to maintain law and order and communal harmony, all mobile internet services are being suspended from 3 pm on December 20 in entire Bulandshahr. Internet-related loop lines and lease lines too shall remain suspended,” District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar stated in an order.
Meanwhile, chief ministers of West Bengal, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have announced the CAA was “unconstitutional” and has no place in their respective states.
Delhi Police has allegedly detained women and children in the aftermath of the violence which took place at Delhi gate in New Delhi.
According to several activists outside the police station, the cops have not allowed the parents of the detained children or lawyers to go inside the station, citing law and order situation.
ALL UP SCHOOL, COLLEGES TO REMAIN SHUT ON SATURDAY
All schools, colleges and universities across Uttar Pradesh will remain shut on Saturday, state officials said.
An order was issued to this effect on Friday night, a government spokesperson was quoted as saying in an official statement.
BJP USING BRUTE FORCE TO SUPPRESS DISSENT: SONIA GANDHI
Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi launched a scathing attack on the BJP-led Central government on Friday and said the saffron party was using brute force to suppress dissent. She assured the people Congress is committed to defending their fundamental rights.
“There have been protests in the universities and academic institutions throughout the country against division agenda and anti-people policies of the BJP government. In a democracy, people have the right to raise their voice against policies of the government and register their concerns,” Sonia Gandhi said.
“It is the duty of the government to address the people’s concerns. The BJP government has shown utter disregard for the people’s voice and chosen to use brute force to suppress dissent. This is unacceptable in a democracy,” Sonia Gandhi said.
RJD CALLS FOR BIHAR BANDH ON SATURDAY
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has called for a bandh in Bihar for Saturday to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act. RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav appealed to the people to participate in the Bihar bandh against the CAA.
Speaking to India Today TV, Tejashwi Yadav said Bihar would be closed on Saturday. He said the people’s documents often get washed away in floods in the state, and hence they cannot prove their identity if the NRC is implemented. “In Bihar, people’s documents flow away with floodwaters. How can they prove their identity,” asked Tejashwi Yadav.
INDIAN CITIZENS DON’T HAVE TO PROVE ANCESTRY
A Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spokesperson on Friday clarified that no Indian citizen would have to prove their ancestry by presenting documents like identity cards, birth certificates etc of parents or grandparents.
“Citizenship of India may be proved by giving any document relating to date of birth or place of birth or both. Such a list is likely to include a lot of common documents to ensure that no Indian citizen is unduly harassed or put to inconvenience,” MHA Spokesperson tweeted.
“Indian citizens do not have to prove any ancestry by presenting documents like identity cards, birth certificates etc of parents or grandparents dating back to pre-1971 situation,” Spokesperson said in another tweet.
The ministry also said that illiterate citizens without any documents may be allowed by authorities to prove their citizenship.