New Delhi: Starting from Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra to West Bengal, the nation on Monday witnessed multiple protests across the country with students and leaders coming out to express solidarity with the students of Jamia and AMU who were brutally attacked by the police on Sunday.
The lines between anger at the police action against Jamia and AMU students and the protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act brought many in one spirit to voice their concern against the spirit of the nation.
On one hand, thousands of students took to streets demanding a probe into police brutality in Jamia and AMU campus, and on the other hand, politicians made their voice heard at the India Gate to the authorities concern. Here are the top developments of the day.
Opposition protest at India Gate
Led by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, a number of Opposition party leaders gathered at the India Gate on Monday evening and held a silent protest from 4 PM to 6 PM to press home their point.
Expressing resentment over police brutality on students, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra alleged that police action in Delhi and Aligarh was an attack on the soul of India and said the party will fight against it. “The government has given a blow to the Constitution. It is an attack on the soul of the nation, youth is the soul of the nation,” Priyanka said.
Apart from Priyanka, party interim president Sonia Gandhi, party leaders KC Venugopal, AK Antony, PL Punia, Ahmed Patel and Randeep Singh Surjewala were present.
Protest rally in West Bengal
A stern critic of the Central government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took out a protest rally in Kolkata and stated that the CAA and the NRC can be enforced in the state only on her dead body. She also dared the Central government to dismiss her government in the state.
Meanwhile, a fresh standoff between state governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and chief minister Banerjee broke out over the ongoing protests in the state. The standoff started when Dhankhar summoned Banerjee to update him personally about the protests in the state. Banerjee in reply to the Governor stated that the prime focus of her administration is to maintain a peaceful situation against what is going on throughout the country.
Advisory from Home Ministry
Stepping in to quell the unrest, the Union Home Ministry issued an advisory to all states and UTs, urging them to take requisite precautionary measures to maintain law and order. It also asked the states to take all possible steps to check violence and ensure the safety of life and properties. The MHA said it’s imperative that all required measures be taken to contain violence, to ensure the protection of life and safety of citizens.
Fresh clash with police in UP’s Mau district
A fresh clash on Monday night broke out between protesters and police personnel in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau district. In the wake of the incident, protesters burnt public vehicles, threw stones at policemen and a police station in the areas was set on fire.
Pan-India protest over police action
In a rare show of camaraderie, rival parties UDF and LDF in Kerala protested jointly against the police action on Jamia and AMU students. Joining them, several Delhi University students also boycotted exams and held a protest outside the Arts Faculty in North Campus to express their solidarity with the movement. A group of Jamia students stood shirtless in the bone-chilling cold on Monday morning to protest against police action on their fellow students. Students in Dehradun also protested against the police action on Jamia students.
Other universities that joined the protest in their respective places include Hyderabad’s Maulana Azad Urdu University, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi and at the Jadavpur University in Kolkata, Mumbai University and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
Life was thrown out of gear in several places in West Bengal and Northeast as highways and railway lines were blocked by protesters and a number of trains were cancelled in the wake of the protests.
The CAA, which got President’s nod last week, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Parsi communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh and who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.