Violence spreads in Bengal; railway and bus services hit

Updated: Dec 15, 2019, 08:04 IST | Agencies | Kolkata

In Suti of the same district, three state buses were vandalised on Saturday morning and one of them torched by the protestors after they forced out the passengers

Police jawans try to protect themselves as protestors throw stones on them during an agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) at Santragachi in Howrah district of West Bengal, on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Police jawans try to protect themselves as protestors throw stones on them during an agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) at Santragachi in Howrah district of West Bengal, on Saturday. Pic/PTI

Kolkata: Violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019 spread to more areas in West Bengal on Saturday as mobs torched buses, set afire railway property and blockaded road and rail disrupting train and vehicular movement.

In Murshidabad district, railway equipment kept at Eastern Railway's Beldanga station, which had also faced mob fury on Friday, was burnt by protestors, who also damaged a fire brigade engine and set it afire. When police rushed in, they were stoned.

On Friday, protestors carrying posters against the CAA and the proposed National Register of Citizens, had vandalised the railway station, torched the station master's cabin and ransacked the ticket counter before setting it ablaze. In Suti of the same district, three state buses were vandalised on Saturday morning and one of them torched by the protestors after they forced out the passengers.

Sonia slams BJP
Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday accused the Narendra Modi government of dividing the country. Addressing the Bharat Bachao Rally at the Ramlila maidan in New Delhi, Sonia Gandhi said, "They brought CAA, it will destroy and shatter the soul of India." She also accused the Modi government of not respecting constitutional institutions.

Curfew relaxed in Assam
The curfew, enforced in Guwahati due to the protests against the CAA, was relaxed for seven hours since 9 am on Saturday, as the situation improved in Assam, even though train services continued to be affected. In Dibrugarh municipal area, the curfew was relaxed from 8 am to 2 pm, officials said. With prohibitory orders relaxed till 4 pm, shops opened in the capital city and some vehicles were seen plying on the roads. However, schools continued to remain shut.

Rakesh Sinha writes to VC

Rajya Sabha MP of BJP Rakesh Sinha on Saturday wrote to the Vice Chancellor of Jamil Millia, Nazma Akhtar, in the wake of violence that erupted on Friday. Sinha urged the VC to form a committee to probe violence by communal elements. In his letter, he wrote, "Opposing and staging protests are a part of a democracy but it is unacceptable when it is done in a fascist way."

Jamia declares winter vacation

Jamia Millia Islamia University after postponing varsity exams, has now declared winter vacation from Saturday amid protest. The University will open on January 6, 2020. "All semester exams stand postponed. New dates will be announced in due course of time and winter vacation is declared from December 16 to January 5, 2020," the PRO said.

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