As protests against the passage of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, intensified across the country, students from Jamia Milia Islamia took to the streets on December 13 to register their protest. However, the police brutally lathi charged and resorted to use of tear gas shells against the students, who had given the call for a march from Jamia metro station to Parliament Street.
As per reports, the marching students were stopped by police at the Gate no 1 of Jamia, following which the police resorted to baton charging protesters who tried to jump the barricades. Over 2,000 students participated in the protest against the Act—which seeks to grant citizenship to persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, while excluding Muslims—calling the Bill unconstitutional and against the secular fabric of the country. Following the violent turn of events in Jamia, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had closed all entry and exit points at Janpath and Patel Chowk metro stations for a few hours.
Several students were also detained by the police, which, according to some reports, purportedly resorted to blank firing to disperse the protesting students.
While the national capital was rocked by the students protesting against the “unconstitutional CAB”, internet was suspended in Aligarh Muslim University from midnight till 5 PM on December 13, fearing protests against the Act. As per reports, Aligarh Muslim University Teachers’ Association and students had given a call for a march in protest against the amended citizenship act.
Assam, which has been witness to one of the most violent reactions against CAB, continued to reel under tension as curfew continued in several parts of the state for the third consecutive day. Twenty-six columns of Indian Army have been deployed in the state along with the CAPF, as per an ANI report.
In Guwahati, a mass hunger strike was organised by All Assam Students’ Union (AASU). “The CAB will never be accepted by the people of Assam. It will finish the language and the culture of our state. So, everyone has come out to protest against the Act,” a protester was quoted as saying by ANI.
On Thursday, at least two people were shot dead by the armed forces deployed in Guwahati.
On the other hand, a curfew was imposed in Shillong, capital of Meghalaya, along with a 48-hour internet shutdown, as the state, too, witnessed protests against the controversial Act. Owing to the worsening situation, Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s scheduled visit to North-East Police Academy in Shillong has been cancelled.
At least 106 passenger trains were either cancelled or short terminated by Northeast
Frontier Railway (NFR) in view of disruptions in train movement following protests against amended Citizenship Act since Wednesday, the NFR said in a statement said on Friday, reported PTI.
Meanwhile, protests continued to rock other parts of the country including parts of West Bengal, Telangana and Bihar. As reported by PTI, thousands of people blocked the National Highway 6 in Bengal’s Howrah district in protest against a nationwide NRC and CAB. “The amended Citizenship Act and the NRC are actually a plan of the central government to divide the people on the basis of religion. Will not allow that,” Maulana Ghulam Mustafa of the local Boro Masjid who was leading the agitation told PTI. Mustafa said the district magistrate or the sub-divisional officer will have to meet the protestors and listen to their demands or warned that the blockade will continue. In another incident in Murshidabad distrct, the Beldanga railway station complex was set on fire and RPF personnel deputed there were allegedly thrashed by protesting people, reported PTI.
In Hyderabad, silent protests were held after Friday prayers on protest call given by Jamiat-e-Ulema-e Hind, Jamaat-e-Islami, Tehreek Muslimeen Shabban, Wahadat-e-Islami and other Muslim organisations. The protesters held placards which denounced the bill and demanded that it be withdrawn, as reported by Telangana Today.
As the controversial Bill has turned into an act following the president’s assent, many including leaders from AASU, Indian Union Muslim League, Trinamool Congress and Indian National Congress have approached the Supreme Court—challenging the constitutional validity of the Act.