The Indian Railways on Saturday said property worth Rs 88 Crore was damaged during violent protests across country over controversial Citizenship Amendment Act. In a statement, Indian Railways said, property worth Rs 72 crore was damaged in Eastern Railway Zone while South Eastern Railways was second with property losses worth Rs 13 crore. North Eastern Frontier Railways according to estimates lost Rs 3 crore in damages.
Railways have filed a total of 85 FIRs for the violent incidents that also led to injuries to a dozen employees, according to a media report.
According to the amended Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and face religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship. President Ram Nath Kovind had given assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, turning it into an Act.
On Friday, Delhi to Varanasi to Mangaluru to Mumbai, cities across India are witnessed massive protests against the Act. violent clashes with Uttar Pradesh reporting maximum deaths. So far, 17 people have died in protests, which include five in Assam also. To tackle the situation, state governments have imposed Section 144 in various cities. Mobile internet services remain suspended in as many as 20 cities of Uttar Pradesh and parts of Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka. According to latest reports, thousands of people have been detained in connection with the violent protests.
Meanwhile, it seems that the Narendra Modi government is trying to allay the fears of the minorities. Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi reportedly said that there was no plan of pan-India NRC by the government. “NRC, if it happens…no government is bringing it surreptitiously,” Naqvi was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Uttar Pradesh was the worst-hit state in terms of violence over the citizenship law. Three people died in Meerut, two in Bijnor, one each in Varanasi, Ferozabad, Sambhal and Kanpur.