Protests against Citizenship Amendment Act continue, toll up to 24

Updated: Dec 23, 2019, 09:44 IST | Agencies | New Delhi/Lucknow

Uttar Pradesh deputy CM blames the outsiders for violent clashes that has claimed 17 lives in the state since Thursday.

Protesters display placards and raise slogans demanding withdrawal of citizenship law, during a demonstration on Sunday. Pics/PTI
Protesters display placards and raise slogans demanding withdrawal of citizenship law, during a demonstration on Sunday. Pics/PTI

New Delhi/Lucknow: Violent protests against citizenship law swept the country over the weekend despite the government's ban on public assembly and suspension of internet services in several parts of the country, raising the nationwide death toll to 24.

A 30-year-old man, who was injured in Friday's protests in Kanpur, succumbed on Sunday while nine people died in clashes with police across Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, taking the toll in the state to 17 since Thursday. Seven people were killed in UP on Friday. Police spokesman Pravin Kumar said most of the victims were young people but denied police were responsible, reported AP.

Protesters display placards and raise slogans demanding withdrawal of citizenship law, during a demonstration on Sunday

Two dead named in FIR
On Thursday two people were killed in protests in Mangaluru and five were killed in Assam when protests first erupted last week, reported CNN. Meanwhile, Mangaluru police have named two people killed in police firing in the city on Thursday as accused in the FIR. Jaleel, 49, and Nausheen, 23, were killed due to bullet injuries when police opened fire at an anti-CAA protest march.

5,312 bound down in UP
In UP, police have arrested over 879 people as protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act and proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) continues, while "5,312 people who may instigate violence or vitiate atmosphere are bound down on the basis of suspicion," said DGP OP Singh. "As many as 288 cops are injured," he said.

Protesters display placards and raise slogans demanding withdrawal of citizenship law, during a demonstration on Sunday

PFI men held
Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma has alleged "outsiders' role" in the incidents of violence. He said six people hailing from West Bengal and associated with PFI has been arrested by UP police. "There is involvement of Popular Front of India. They have connection with SIMI," he said. Students Islamic Movement of India or SIMI is a banned terror outfit. Sharma's statement came on a day a TMC delegation, planning to meet the families of those killed in UP, was "detained" at Lucknow airport in the afternoon.

CAA not about Muslims: Modi
Meanwhile, anti-CAA protests in Delhi continued on Sunday even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally in the national capital. On NRC, Modi sought to allay apprehensions, especially among Muslims, saying his government has never discussed it since coming to power for the first time in 2014. "The citizenship law or the NRC has nothing to do with Indian Muslims. They have nothing to worry," Modi said. Opposition parties do not want to distinguish between infiltrators and those who took refuge in India due to persecution, he said. A large number of people took out a 'solidarity march' in South Delhi on Sunday in support of Jamia Millia Islamia students and those facing police action during protests against the contentious law.

879
No. of protesters arrested in UP

288
No. of cops allegedly injured

Uncertainty in India could affect neighbours: B'desh

The CAA and NRC are India's "internal issues", Bangladesh Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen has said, but voiced concern that any "uncertainty" is likely to affect its neighbours. Momen said, "We are the No.1 friend of India. So, if there is uncertainty in India, it is likely to affect its neighbours. When there was an economic downturn in the US, it affected many nations because we live in a global world. So our fear is that if there is some uncertainty in India, it might affect its neighbours". "We hope the situation cools down and India can get out of it," he said.

Protests against citizenship law continue in TN

Around 500 members of Islamic outfits and scores of CPI(M) activists staged demonstrations in Chennai on Sunday as protests continued against the CAA in parts of Tamil Nadu. Protests were also held in Theni by members of some Islamic organisations. In Madurai, activists of Campus Front of India and an Islamic outfit were booked for staging a protest against the CAA on Saturday without taking permission, police said "We have booked cases against around 2,000 members, including those from Campus Front of India and another Muslim outfit", a senior police officer told PTI. Earlier, senior BJP Leader L Ganesan said there was nothing in wrong in police using weapons to disperse mobs who damage public property.

Attack on journalists an assault on media freedom: press body

The Press Association, a leading body of journalists, on Saturday strongly condemned "attack and unnecessary harassment" of journalists during coverage of protests. In a statement, issued by association president Jaishankar Gupta and general secretary CK Nayak, the association appealed to all sections to realise the need of a free and fair press and the importance of media during incidents of national importance. It said attack on journalists on their line of duty is an assault on media freedom. It said it has taken a serious note of the detention of a journalist of The Hindu, detention of seven journalists in Mangaluru. Several other reporters and a cameraperson were also attacked during the protests.

'Won't let Shah step out of Kol airport if CAA not withdrawn'

West Bengal minister and state president of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind Siddiqullah Chowdhury on Sunday threatened to disallow Home Minister Amit Shah to step out of the airport whenever he visits the city, if the CAA is not immediately withdrawn. Chowdhury said the contentious law is against humanity and the citizens of the country "living here for ages". "We may not allow him (Shah) to step out of the city airport if necessary. We may gather one lakh people there to stop him," he said at a Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind rally against the CAA. The minister said the organisation's movement would be democratic and peaceful. "We don't believe in violent protests, but we will certainly oppose
CAA and the NRC tooth and nail," he said.

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