Fresh clashes between police and anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protesters in several parts of Uttar Pradesh. Thousands of people gathered in Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Hapur, Bahraich, Bulandshahr and many other parts of the state to register their protest against the contentious law.
In Ghaziabad near national capital Delhi, the police resorted to lathi charge against the protesters, who also said to have pelted stones at them. Several protesters were injured after in the police action while some policemen were also reportedly injured in the clashes. In videos, police in riot gears can be seen chasing away the protesters with batons and guns in their hand. Internet services are banned in Ghaziabad since 10 pm last night.
In Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's home constituency Gorakhpur, hundreds of protesters gathered around the city's Jama Masjid after Friday prayers. The protesters, who were raising anti-CAA and anti-government slogans were seen exchanging stones with the police.
Gorakhpur SSP Sunil Gupta said that the police has not given permission to hold any protests. "Section 144 is imposed in the area and nobody is allowed to hold demonstration or protest rally. I appeal to people to maintain law and order," Gupta said.
Similar protests erupted in Muzaffarnagar, Hapur, Bahraich and Bulandshahr, Kanpur, MeerutÂ following which the police used force to disperse the protesters, who defied prohibitory orders under section 144 that bans gathering of more than 4 people at one place. Anti-Citizenship Act protesters also hit the streets in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency Varanasi, where Police conducted flag march in a bid to ensure law and order situation doesn't deteriorate.
The protests turned violent in Bulandshahr where thousands of people clashed with police and set their vehicle on fire. The police launched a crackdown on protesters and lathi charged on them to disperse them.
Amid the raging protests, mobile internet services has been suspended in Agra to curb communication between the protesters. Vaibhav Srivastava, Pilibhit District Magistrate said that the ban on mobile interenet services will also remained suspended for the next 24 hours starting today midnight. The state capital Lucknow also remained with mobile internet where services has been suspendedÃ till 12 noon on December 21.
The Citizenship Amendment Act grants Indian citizenship to all the illegal immigrants of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan unless they are from Muslim community. The citics say that the provision to grant citizenship on religious basis and exclusing a partiular community is discriminatory and gainst the Constitution of India.
The government, however, argued that the bill was not discrimintory to Muslims and grants citizenship to those who were persecuted in these three countries. However, questions were raised about the government's intention as Tamil Hindus in Sri Lanka, Buddists in Tibet and Christians in Bhutan have also been facing similar persecution for years.