New Delhi: Six people lost their lives and many injured in Uttar Pradesh after thousands of protesters took to the streets, to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act on Friday.
As a precautionary measure, internet services continue to be blocked in several parts of the country and Section 144 was imposed in cities across UP and Karnataka. Internet services, however, were restored across Assam on Friday morning, several days after it was snapped due to the ongoing protests.
Meanwhile, Congress President Sonia Gandhi accused the government of ‘brute repression’ to suppress protests against the amended citizenship law. Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi too joined the protests at India Gate on Friday and said that the Citizenship Act and the NRC are against the poor.
Here are the major developments of the day:
Six people killed in Uttar Pradesh
Six people were killed as people clashed with the police in several cities of the state, taking the death toll in the last 24 hours to seven. The protests led to major violence in Kanpur, Firozabad’s Lalganj area, Bijnor’s Naya Bazar area, Bulandshahr, Hapur, Muzaffarnagar, Bahraich and Gorakhpur.
One person was killed each in Meerut, Sambhal, Kanpur and Firozabad and two died in Bijnor as the protests turned violent. Protesters went on a rampage in over half a dozen districts, pelting stones at police, setting vehicles on fire and ransacking a number of police outposts.
Internet services were shut down in 15 districts, including Lucknow, even Direct-to-Home (DTH) services were also snapped for some time. All schools, colleges and universities will remain shut across the state today.
Protests turn violent in Delhi
The anti-CAA protests turned violent in Delhi on Friday, with protestors setting a car on fire in the city’s Daryaganj area in an incident of arson in the city’s largely peaceful day of the demonstration.
Police, in turn, used water cannons and lathi-charged a large group of protesters who were trying to march from the old Delhi to Jantar Mantar.
In response to the violence, Delhi Metro shut 17 stations including the busy Rajiv Chowk, Pragati Maidan and Khan Market stations.
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad’s dramatic entry and escape
Earlier in the day, protests in Delhi began at the capital’s iconic Jama Masjid, with Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad emerging out of nowhere’ among the crowd and leading them in reading a portion of the Constitution.
The Delhi Police, which had denied Azad’s Bhim Army permission to march from the mosque to Jantar Mantar, detained him; however, Azad ‘escaped’ from police custody minutes after detention, apparently with the help of his supporters.
Later on Friday, Azad said that he will continue protesting until the government withdraws the ‘black law’. He also said that the police lathi-charged on the protesters after entering the Jama Masjid.
Congress condemns the Citizenship Act, Priyanka Vadra joins protesters at India Gate
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday evening joined the protesters at India Gate and said the implementation of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizen are against the poor people.
Meanwhile, her mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi reiterated the same and called the Act ‘discriminatory’.
”Congress condemns actions of BJP govt, expresses its solidarity with students and citizens in their just struggle”, she said.
MHA releases 5 clauses under the Citizenship Act
Meanwhile, amid the raging protests, the Union Home Ministry on Friday released the five clauses under the Citizenship Act to acquire Indian citizenship.
According to the Citizenship Act, 1955, under the first clause, citizenship by birth under Article 5 of the Constitution provides that any person who was domiciled in India on January 26, 1950 or who was born in the territory of India is a citizen of India, the notification said.
Anyone “either of whose parents was born in the territory of India, or any person born in India on or after January 26, 1950, but before July 1, 1987, is a citizen of India by birth,” said the government`s notification.
Section 144 imposed in Gujarat
As a precautionary move, the Gujarat government imposed Section 144 (prohibition on the assembly of more than 4 people) in Rajkot till 1 January 2020. On the other hand, Section 144 was also imposed in a total of 52 districts (total districts 52) of the state.