At least 13 killed as anti-CAA protests grips India; women, children detained

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NEW DELHI, Dec 21 (DNA): Thirteen people died across India during
widespread protests and violence against the Citizenship Amendment Act
(CAA). Ten people died in Uttar Pradesh, Indian media reported Saturday.

While two people died in Bijnor, one died in Kanpur, one in Firozabad
and another one in Sambhal. Three people had died during the
demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Two persons died
in Karnataka’s Mangaluru and another one died in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

The cause of death would be known after a post-mortem on the victims,
officials said. Director-General of Police O P Singh has, however,
maintained that none of the deaths were due to police action on the
protesters.

Protesters clashed with police during anti-CAA demonstrations in
Bhadohi, Bahraich, Amroha, Farurukhabad, Ghaziabad, Varanasi,
Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Hapur, Hathras, Bulandshahr, Hamirpur and
Mahoba districts in Uttar Pradesh.

Mobile internet services remain suspended in Aligarh, Mau, Azamgarh,
Lucknow, Kanpur, Bareilly, Shahjahanpur, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahr, Sambhal
and Allahabad in view of the protests against the Citizenship Amendment
Act.

Security forces were put on high alert on Friday in various parts of the
country including in Kerala and Karanataka where protesters disrupted
road and rail traffic after last night’s death of two persons in alleged
police firing during protests against the amended citizenship law.

Prohibitory orders were imposed in 12 police station areas of Northeast
Delhi. Violent protests were reported from Delhi Gate area in Daryaganj,
Delhi. A car which was parked outside the DCP’s office in Daryaganj was
torched.

The protesters and the police clashed in the area, resulting in the
latter resorting to water cannons to disperse the crowd. At least 40
people demonstrating against the Citizenship Act at Delhi Gate were
detained by the Delhi Police.

Massive protests were held at Jama Masjid and India Gate in Delhi on
Friday evening. In the national capital, additional security
arrangements were made in view of the Friday prayers and prohibitory
orders were imposed in sensitive areas.

Bhim Army said police first tried to detain party chief Chandrashekhar
Azad at Jama Masjid but he managed to get away, before later being
detained near Daryaganj.

Besides, the Delhi Police used drones to keep a vigil on the protests
across the city. At one point in time, Delhi Metro had closed its exit
and entry gates to 16 Metro stations, including in the Old Delhi areas.

People carrying out a march from Jama Masjid area in Delhi to Jantar
Mantar were stopped near Delhi Gate as police barricaded all the
arterial roads in the area, triggering traffic jams. After the violence
erupted in the area, the police barricaded Delhi Gate.

Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests were also held for the fifth day
outside Jamia Millia Islamia. A sea of protesters, including university
students, locals and children, took out marches carrying posters and
banners.

In Kerala, police were directed to maintain high vigil in northern
districts in the wake of the killing of two persons in Mangaluru in
neighbouring Karnataka.

Internet mobile services were suspended in Bulandshahr from 3 pm onwards
to quell spread of rumours.

“In order to maintain law and order and communal harmony, all mobile
internet services are being suspended from 3 pm on December 20 in entire
Bulandshahr. Internet-related loop lines and lease lines too shall
remain suspended,” District Magistrate Ravindra Kumar stated in an
order.

Meanwhile, chief ministers of West Bengal, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya
Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have announced the CAA was “unconstitutional”
and has no place in their respective states.

Delhi Police has allegedly detained women and children in the aftermath
of the violence which took place at Delhi gate in New Delhi.

According to several activists outside the police station, the cops have
not allowed the parents of the detained children or lawyers to go inside
the station, citing law and order situation.

All schools, colleges and universities across Uttar Pradesh will remain
shut on Saturday, state officials said.

An order was issued to this effect on Friday night, a government
spokesperson was quoted as saying in an official statement.

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi launched a scathing attack on
the BJP-led Central government on Friday and said the saffron party was
using brute force to suppress dissent. She assured the people Congress
is committed to defending their fundamental rights.

“There have been protests in the universities and academic institutions
throughout the country against division agenda and anti-people policies
of the BJP government. In a democracy, people have the right to raise
their voice against policies of the government and register their
concerns,” Sonia Gandhi said.

“It is the duty of the government to address the people’s concerns. The
BJP government has shown utter disregard for the people’s voice and
chosen to use brute force to suppress dissent. This is unacceptable in a
democracy,” Sonia Gandhi said. DNA

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