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Hundreds of protestors were detained across India on Thursday as authorities clamped down on protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, social activist Harsh Mander, scholar Yogendra Yadav, and Left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja were among those detained in Delhi, where 20 metro stations were closed through the day. Historian Ramachandra Guha and others detained in Bengaluru after they defy prohibitory orders and come out to protest against the Citizenship Act.

Police personnel were seen firing in the air to disperse protesters against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Karnataka’s Mangaluru on Thursday, when agitations broke out simultaneously across the country.

 

 

Restrictions on large gatherings had been placed over the entire state since the previous evening, with the BJP-led government denying student groups and activists permission to hold protests against the controversial law.

Around four policemen in riot gear could be seen shooting in the air on what seemed like a deserted ground even as people stood watching from some distance. The action was reportedly taken to quell a crowd of protesters that was increasingly getting out of control.

Police also cracked down on protests in other parts of the state, including Hubballi, Kalaburagi, Hassan, Mysuru, Ballary and state capital Bengaluru, detaining hundreds of people.

 

 

Prohibitory orders banning large gatherings are in place in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka – both of which have the Bharatiya Janata Party in power. Internet services were suspended in Uttar Pradesh’s Sambhal district, where a state-run bus was set ablaze. In Bengaluru, historian Ramachandra Guha was among over 200 people detained by the police. However, protestors are reportedly back at the city’s Town Hall.

There were reports of demonstrations in other parts of the country as well. Police baton-charged protestors in Ahmedabad, while hundreds of people gathered at Kolkata’s Ramlila Maidan. Several demonstrators, most of them university students, were detained in Hyderabad on their way to Exhibition Grounds, where a demonstration was planned. Rail and road services were disrupted in Bihar during a bandh called by Left parties.

Author Arundhati Roy protested at Jantar Mantar. She told Scroll.in: “I’m here because as I’ve said before, like demonetisation broke the back of the economy while we all stood in line and gave up our own money, now these laws are breaking the back of the Constitution. Now you can’t get more raw, open fascist than this.”

She also said the Citizenship Act, combined with the NRC, is “making petitioners out of the entire population”. “Yes, it’s against Muslims, even the CAA if it’s only about immigrants, to discriminate against Muslims, to leave out Sri Lankan refugees, to not talk about persecuted Muslim minorities in other countries is unconstitutional, is against the spirit of this country”

She also said ,

When you combine CAA with the NRC and when you say that citizenship will be based on the government scrutiny of a certain set of documents… this is what happened in 1935 Germany, these were what were known as the Nuremberg laws.

I was traveling in Assam, they did this exercise, even though the Supreme Court hasn’t yet decided whether it is constitutional or not. They spent thousands of crores, they did this exercise, they were unhappy with it, now they want it again. If you have a margin of error in this exercise it will go into millions.

They have no idea what they will do with these so-called stateless people, except create a social hierarchy in which some people have more rights than others like a modern caste system. The real idea is to create a rift, to create bigotry as an acceptable idea in our society. There are not enough prisons to hold these millions of people, it’s just an exercise, a test of whether this country will accept this fascism and the people stood up and said we will not.

Sixteen flights have been delayed at Delhi airport due to a traffic jam on NH-8, reports Business Standard. Nineteen IndiGo flights have been cancelled as the crew got stuck in the traffic jams.

Near Jamia Milia Islamia, site of violent action by police against protesters over the weekend, protesters of other faiths formed a human chain as the Muslims among them were praying.

Protests are also taking place in Assam today, where the internet has been restricted for days on end.


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