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Protests over citizenship law and NRC sweep the country, disrupt services

Three persons died in police firing in massive protests, a few of which turned violent, across the country on Thursday against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Students, activists, and political parties that took part in these protests criticised the “discriminatory CAA and NRC”, and also accused the Narendra Modi government of bringing in the contentious law to divert attention from price rise, economic slowdown, and unemployment. Violence was reported in Sambhal and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh; Mangaluru in Karnataka, which led to curfew to be imposed there; and Ahmedabad. Protesters in Lucknow torched vehicles parked outside a police station.

Reports of violence also came from BJP-ruled Karnataka and Gujarat, and Trinamool Congress-ruled West Bengal. One person in Lucknow and two in Mangaluru died in police firing, reports said. At Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, protesters offered roses to security personnel, saying the police could baton charge them as much as they wanted, but their message was “love in return for hatred”.

Some lawyers participating in the demonstration offered legal assistance to protestors in case they were detained. Protests took place outside Indian missions abroad, mostly in Europe and the US. Russia on Thursday advised its citizens who were in India or planning to visit the country to be “vigilant, cautious, avoid crowds and refrain from visiting areas controlled by protestors”.

Last week, several countries including the US, the UK, Israel, Canada, and Singapore, had asked their citizens to exercise caution while travelling to the Northeastern states in India.

Source: Business Standard