A large group of people were to reach Parivartan Chowk in Lucknow to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. However, before the protests could begin at 2 pm, a handful of the protesters including social activist and Magsaysay award winner Sandeep Pandey, president of the Rihai Manch and senior advocate Mohammad Shoaib and retired IPS officers S R Darapuri were put under house arrest by Lucknow police.
The Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state has also banned large gatherings under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure on Thursday, a night ahead of the scheduled protests in the capital.
The Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh on Wednesday said in a tweet, “Section 144 is in force and no permission for any gathering has been for January 19. Please do not participate. Parents are also requested to counsel their children.”
Reacting to the house arrest, Mohammad Shoaib told NewsClick: “It is an attack on our constitutional rights. We can roam freely in our country and raise our voice in a democratic way and it is our birthright. By [putting us under] house arrest, the government is depriving us of our rights. It is an attack on democracy. Whether it is NRC or Citizenship (Amendment) Act, it is unconstitutional and so is our detention.”
“This government has not only muted the voice of Kashmiris, but now, they are doing the same across the country. They want to turn the whole country into Kashmir. Like every year, we wanted to organise a public gathering at GPO Park on December 19 to commemorate death anniversaries of Ashfaqullah Khan, Ram Prasad Bismil and Rajendra Lahiri who were hanged by the British in Kakori case. But we are not being allowed to,” said Shoaib.
Sandeep Pandey told NewsClick: “Our house arrest is a violation of Article 19(B) of the Constitution which guarantees freedom to assemble peacefully. We had informed the police before our gathering and assured them of a peaceful protest. They are not even allowing me to step out of my house, which is a clear cut violation of the Constitution.”
He added, “This is an undeclared emergency. The Modi government at the Centre and state level are trying to clamp down on the rights of the people to protest freely. By imposing Section 144, they are trying to curtail the freedom of speech and expression, a fundamental right. The BJP government is scared of the dissent to NRC and CAA.”
UP Police Issue Notices to Over 3,000 People
Uttar Pradesh Police issued notices to over 3,000 people across the state under Section 149 of the CrPc on Wednesday—a day ahead of the CAA protests, citing ‘deterioration of law and order issues’ as a reason.
Uttar Pradesh Police have also warned people against circulating protest call messages and have said that any act amounting to a breach of peace would be dealt with sternly. The police are also scanning the social media platforms to pull down posts regarding mobilisation for Thursday’s protest.
Others who have been served notices include leaders of AIMIM and Samajwadi Party leader Ravidas Mehrotra. Aleemullah Khan, a senior journalist, was also arrested from his house, as he had given a call for protest.
Rajiv Yadav, a human rights activist and member of Rihai Manch, said that the people from every section will gather for today’s protest even as the government and the police want to mute their voices.
Yadav further added that they will make the government kneel and roll back the CAA, as it is against every human being who is living in the country
Protesters, on the other hand, have decided to carry on with more protests against the Citizenship Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
nti-CAA stir: Internet services suspended in UP's Sambhal following violent protest
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Sambhal, Dec 19 (PTI) Internet services were suspended in Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal on Thursday after a public bus was set ablaze and another damaged as protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act turned violent, District Magistrate Avinash K Singh said.
Some of the protesters also pelted stones at a police station, he said.
"The internet services have been suspended as a precautionary measure to prevent rumour-mongering," the DM added.
One state roadways bus was set on fire in Chaudhary Sarai area of the district on Thursday afternoon while another was damaged, Superintendent of Police Yamuna Prasad said.
Fire tenders were rushed to the spot.
This is the first incident on attack on state-run buses in the state in the wake of violent protests against the CAA.
Section 144 of the CrPC prohibiting unlawful assembly is in force in the state and no permission for any gathering has been given for December 19, Uttar Pradesh Police Chief O P Singh had said. PTI CORR SAB SMI