Protest turns violent, Media OB van set on fire in Lucknow
NEW DELHI/LUCKNOW : Defying the bans, protesters held rallies at Delhi’s historic Red Fort and a town hall in Bengaluru, but police swept in to round up people in the vanguard of those demonstrations as they tried to get underway.
In Bengaluru, Historian Ramchandra Guha, D Raja, Sitaram Yechury, Nilotpal Basu, Brinda Karat and others were detained at Mandi House in Delhi for defying prohibitory orders imposed by the police.
The nationwide protests also come a day after the Supreme Court refused to stop the implementation of the amended law and issued a notice to the Centre while hearing nearly 60 petitions challenging the recent amendments to the Citizenship Act. The top court also asked the central government to respond to the pleas by the second week of January.
Protests have intensified in several parts of the country after the Parliament gave the nod to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which became an Act after getting assent from President Ram Nath Kovind.
The Delhi High Court today issued notice to the Centre, the Delhi government and the police on a PIL seeking setting up of a fact finding committee to look into violence at Jamia Millia Islamia University during protests against the Citizen (Amendment) Act (CAA). A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel however declined interim protection to students from coercive action including arrest.
Protests against CAA that were earlier confined to the northeast, have swept the country over the past week after several protesters, including students clashed with the police in Delhi’s Jamia Milia Islamia on December 15.
In Lucknow , At least one person died on Thursday from what the police called “alleged firearm injury” during violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
The police cracked down on protesters using tear gas and batons after vandalism, arson and stone-throwing erupted during a demonstration in the Uttar Pradesh capital against the contentious law.
Anti-citizenship law protesters hurled stones and damaged police outposts and a number of vehicles mainly in the Old City areas of Lucknow, forcing the police to use tear-gas shells to control the situation. The protesters torched a state-run bus at Parivartan Chowk, and torched a police post in Satkhanda area. Another police post was damaged in old Lucknow’s Madeyganj, where police fired tear-gas shells after protesters smashed vehicles parked outside a police post.
When protesters in other parts of Lucknow hurled stones at police, they were lathi-charged. In several areas, including Hasanganj, policemen had a tough time tackling the protesters, who adopted a “hit-and-run” tactic, officials said. A few policemen were injured in the violence.
At Parivartan Chowk, which appeared to be the epicentre of the agitation, policemen faced brickbats and the van of a television crew was set on fire. The violence against the amended law led to panic among residents and forced traders in many markets, including the busy Hazratganj area, to shut their shops.
The amended law seeks to provide citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have faced religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan and have arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014.
Citing law and order concerns following violent protests against the law during the past week, authorities imposed bans against public gatherings in parts of the capital and two big states – Uttar Pradesh in the north and Karnataka in the south. Similar restrictions were also imposed in parts of Delhi and capital’s border with Haryana was sealed.
(Bureau Report With Agency Inputs ).