Patna: Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) as well as the pan-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) continued in Bihar on Monday. Thousands of people took to the streets in half a dozen districts namely Bhagalpur, Patna, Samastipur, Darbganga, East Champaran and Araria.
Protesters in thousands defied cold wave-like situation, staged long protest marches, dharna and held big rallies to express their opposition to CAA and NRC. They have demanded scrapping of the both.
In Bhagalpur, a massive public meeting was held against CAA and NRC under the banner of Samvidhan Bachao Desh Bachao Samiti. People from all walks of life joined the protest meeting. “We have demanded scrapping of CAA and NRC and taken oath to continue the protest until the BJP-led central government withdraws them,” said Dashrath Prasad, a left party leader.
Manoj Bharti, an activist associated with the Bhim Army, said that the protest was successful with an unexpected gathering of people against CAB and NRC at Shahjangi maidan in Bhagalpur. “First, protesters took out a march followed by a meeting attended by thousands including Hindus, Muslims, Dalits and others.”
In Motihari, district headquarters of East Champaran, thousands of people with placards, banners and tricolour flags in their hands sloganeered and took out a protest march against CAA and NRC. “The protest march started from Rajendar Nagar Bhawan, which is in the heart of the town, and passed through Nagar Police station, Aspatal chowk, Kachahri chowk, Hawai Adda chowk and later, a meeting was held at the Homeguard maidan,” said Shailendar Kumar, district Congress leader.
In Darbhanga, thousands took out a protest march followed by a massive rally against CAA and NRC. Slogans were shouted against the BJP-led central government and they demanded roll back of CAA and NRC.
Similar protest march and public meetings were held in Samastipur and Araria also on Monday.
In Patna, hundreds joined a big human chain to protest against CAB. It was organised by Loktantrik Jan Pahal. They also participated in a dharna near Gandhi Murti in Gandhi maidan. “We have protested peacefully near Gandhi statue to send a simple message that we will fight against CAA and NRC by following Gandhian path.” said Kanchan Bala, convener.
A protest march was also held in old Patna or Patna city against CAA and NRC.
All protest marches and meetings were conducted peacefully. There were no reports of violence during the protests, police said.
Bihar has witnessed two shutdowns against the CAA and NRC—first by the Left parties supported by the other opposition parties on December 19 and again on December 21 by RJD, supported by all opposition parties and Left parties.
Bihar's ruling JD-U had voted in favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in both the houses of Parliament. Following widespread protests, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday said that NRC will not be implemented in Bihar. He is an ally of the ruling BJP.