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Anti-CAA/NRC Protests Grip MP, Section 144 Imposed For 60 Days

Despite opposing the CAA in Parliament, the Congress-ruled state has imposed internet restrictions in various districts, including Bhopal.
Anti-CAA/NRC Protests Grip MP, Section 144 Imposed For 60 Days

Image Courtesy: News18

Bhopal: The Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) and anti-National Register of Citizens (NRC) agitation sweeping across the country has gripped Madhya Pradesh, too.

Numerous protests erupted in about a dozen districts in the Congress-ruled state. In districts like Bhopal, Shajapur, Khandwa, Khargone, Seoni, Gwalior, Betul, Ratlam, Barwani, Sagar, Ujjain, Panna and Agar-Malwa the dissenting voices are growing louder.

Internet services have also been restricted in various districts, including Bhopal.

In a bid to prevent any untoward incident, the Congress-ruled state, which is opposing the CAA, has imposed Section 144 in 47 districts out of 52, including state capital, for two month, till February 18, as reports of the protests spreading poured in.

There is also a ban on assembly of four or more persons and posting objectionable content on social media. Prohibitory orders were issued on the day protesters scuffled with the police in Khandwa and silent protests were held in many cities.

With reports of more protests being planned in the days ahead, the administration clamped down on Thursday evening.

“In the wake of prevailing circumstances, Section 144 of CrPC is imposed in the district. There is a complete ban on posting of any objectionable message, picture or video on social media platforms. Any comment derogatory to any religion, community or intended to fan communal passions or any video or picture posted with this intention has also been banned. Any call for agitation or demonstration through social media platforms will also remain banned,” the order said.

A day before imposition of Section 144, a massive rally was held in Bhopal’s Iqbal Maidan against the new Act where senior Congress leader and former CM Digvijaya Singh, Congress MLA Arif Masood and poet Imran Pratapgarhi addressed the rally.

Stone-Pelting in Khandwa

In Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa district, a section of the protesters allegedly pelted stones on police personnel when they were returning from ‘Save the Constitution protest’ while raising slogans against CAA and NRC.

Since the Section 144 has been imposed in the communally-sensitive district, the police said it tried to stop them from proceeding, claiming that the irked agitators started pelting stones at them. In order to control the situation, police said it had to wield batons.

The incident took place at Imlipura and Bada Bam area of the town. Nevertheless, the situation was in control once senior police officials reached the spot.

Bhopal Police Books 150 Persons

The Bhopal police have booked around 150 persons for violating Section 144. The people had gathered at the historic Iqbal Maidan to register their protest against CAA and NRC.   

Police claimed that people from different areas had gathered without any information.

Meanwhile, the Talaiya police has begun identifying the protesters through video footage and has started booking them under Section 188. City Superintendent of police, Kotwali Bittu Sharma, said, “The gathering was not of locals. They belong to different areas and that is why we failed to stop the assembly.”

Arun, the spokesperson of one of the organizer of the protest, told mediapersons that they tried to contact the collector and superintendent of police for permission but couldn’t get through. This was after they were informed that the permission given to them for the assembly and protest at Iqbal Maidan had been cancelled.

Arun said after failing to persuade the police and administrative officers to let them peacefully protest, they divided themselves in a group of four persons each and sat in the ground at different places. Though the police resisted their presence at Iqbal Maidan and their “modified” form of protest, the protesters ultimately had their way.

Following silent protests without any placards or slogans, they held a small public meeting in which they declared CAA, NRC and National Popluation Register as “anti-Constitution, anti-human and anti-national” and vowed to fight against it. The protesters also took oath not to abide by CAA, NRC and NPR and appealed to state government not to allow the NPR survey to take place, as decided by Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee.

Protest at National Law University 

A group of students organised a silent protest against CAA at NLIU Bhopal on Thursday. A student, wishing to remain anonymous, said that this was a reply to all those who said that a peaceful protest cannot happen. “Students also discussed CAA and NRC and the present situation of the country,” said the student. 

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