Assam Leads way in India Protesting against CAA
As the violent upsurge gave way to the sweet musical notes, the anti-CAA protests which found its origins in the land of the mighty Brahmaputra is now spreading its wings across the country.
Out of the 29 states, 22 have come under the grip of protests. Internet ban has become the flavour of the season for the administration to quell the raging protests which is spreading like wildfire.
In Assam however, after the initial violent sparks, the protests have mellowed down with the Satyagrah movement launched by influential All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).
“The protests against the CAA have started from Assam in India and now the entire country has united for the purpose,” said senior journalist and activist Manjit Mahanta adding that Assamese people protested against the act to safeguard the constitution of the country.
“We have always protested against the illegal migrants to safeguard the security, democracy and secularism of the country. Yes we have our own reasons but the Assamese people have always fought to safeguard the constitution of the country,” expressed Mahanta adding that around 900 people have lost their lives to safeguard the constitution.
Protests raged against the Citizenship Amendment Act in multiple cities on Thursday with students, activists and others defying prohibitory orders to voice their dissent.
Violence was reported from parts of West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh (UP), Bihar, Delhi, Kerala and Karnataka. Hundreds of protesters across the country were detained.
Protests against the CAA have submerged West Bengal and in some areas violent protests were reported.
Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, went a step further by demanding for the intervention of the United Nations Organisation (UNO) on the issue concerning the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
A strong critic of CAA and NRC, Banerjee, while addressing a rally against CAA, challenged the Centre to call for the UN-monitored referendum on the matter and if the BJP loses the mass vote then it should step down from the government.
Anti-citizenship law protestors went berserk in parts of Lucknow hurling stones and damaging police outposts and a number of vehicles mainly in the old city areas of the Uttar Pradesh capital. Around 20 people were taken into custody. The protestors in other parts of Lucknow were lathi-charged when they started the protest.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said on Thursday that his government will take revenge on those involved in the violence over the amended citizenship act by auctioning their property to compensate for the losses.
Police action on violent mobs protesting against CAA and proposed national NRC claimed two lives on Thursday in Mangaluru, Karnataka. The central business district of the coastal city turned into a war zone with police resorting to multiple tactics of crowd control including firing, preceded by caning and use of tear gas after a mob gathered to protest the CAA defying section 144 which was imposed for 48 hours from Thursday.
Bihar witnessed large scale disruption of traffic, vandalism and arson on account of a state-wide shutdown called by left parties in protest against CAA. Many small political parties took active part in the dawn to dusk protest against CAA in Bihar.
Talking about Delhi, a large number of protestors gathered at the Jantar Mantar to protest against CAA after they were not allowed to demonstrate near the Red Fort and Mandi House where prohibitory orders have been imposed. Delhi is witnessing protests from various sections especially by the students of Jamia Milia Islamiya University.
Thousands of protestors took to the streets of the financial capital against the Citizenship Act on Thursday, converging at the August Kranti Maidan, where Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 told the British to quit India. The gathered crowd included political parties, students and many Bollywood personalities.
Protests were also reported in states like Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and a few more.
As the protest is engulfing the entire country, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is in power in the centre and many states is trying to ease the situation with various strategies.
The BJP on Thursday (19th December) released an archived footage of Rajya Sabha proceedings in 2003, where former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is seen to be making an appeal for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Even in Assam, the chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal organized a press conference on Friday promising that the culture, land and language of Assamese people will not be affected by the new law.
The chief minister also claimed that invitation will be sent to the sections protesting against the citizenship act and they will be explained about the same.
Similarly, the BJP politicos are organizing press conferences across the country trying to ease the situation.
Along with the protests there is also a political battle going on in the country where politicos from opposition parties are leaving no stone unturned to slam the government on the act.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi felt that undeclared emergency has been imposed in the country and the BJP government has become “adamkhor (man-eater).”
Congress leader P Chidambaram questioned why internet had been shut and asked whether all Delhi residents have become “urban naxals.”
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the manner in which the democratic protests was dealt with was unacceptable.
Before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Assam had witnessed protests by student unions and political parties, but this is the first time that the government had to ban the internet for more than a week, impose curfew for a few days and even resort to lathi-charge and firing to control the protests.
Now internet is disconnected in Delhi, Meghalaya, parts of Uttar Pradesh and many other cities which explains that the protest which started in Assam has engulfed the entire country.