#CAAProtests: 2 die in Karnataka, 1 in UP; several injured
Yesterday, thousands defied prohibitory orders and took to streets to protest against the newly-implemented Citizenship Amendment Act, which is seen as discriminatory towards Muslims by its critics. In the agitation, three people lost their lives. While two died in Karnataka's Mangaluru, one died in Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow. Meanwhile, dozens were injured across states, and hundreds were taken into custody. Here's what went down.
The new law will make it easier for persecuted religious minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh to get Indian citizenship. Since the BJP-led Centre excluded Muslims from the law's ambit, many claimed it went against the secular fabric of India. Meanwhile, Northeast residents are worried that this law will open floodgates for Bangladeshi immigrants. For more than a week now, people have been protesting.
That there is immense anger against the law was reflected yesterday when massive protests were held in 13 major cities including Delhi, Lucknow, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Patna. Though Section 144 was imposed in most of the areas, people turned up in large numbers, prompting cops to detain hundreds. Meanwhile, things took an ugly turn in Mangaluru when two died in police firing.
The men who died were aged 23 and 49. Qadir Shah, the spokesperson for deputy commissioner, said police had to resort to firing as a crowd of 200 demonstrators refused to stop their march. "They marched towards the busiest area of Mangaluru. This led to lathi-charge. Then the tear gas was fired. When the protestors still didn't stop, the police had to open fire after that," he told AFP.
Separately, in Lucknow, a man was taken to the trauma center after he suffered a bullet injury. Soon, he breathed his last. Notably, protests got violent in the UP capital despite Section 144 being imposed across the state. Protesters torched vehicles, pelted stones at cops, and damage police posts. Reportedly, internet services have been suspended in parts of Lucknow.
India's financial capital, Mumbai, also joined the bandwagon with thousands of people flocking the August Kranti Maidan to raise their voices. The crowd also included several Bollywood stars like Farhan Akhtar, Konkana Sen Sharma, Kabir Khan, Huma Qureshi, and Rahul Dholakia. Dozens were seen carrying placards berating Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his number 2 in government, Home Minister Amit Shah.
Similar scenes took over Gujarat, where minority-dominated areas reportedly came to a standstill. In Ahmedabad and Vadgam, protesters attacked cops with stones and attempted to vandalize police vehicles. To control the situation, tear gas shells were used. At least 30 people were injured in the violence across Ahmedabad. In Godhra, which is a communally-sensitive area, businesses remained shut.
And for the first time, voice, data, and SMS services were suspended in parts of Delhi, on orders of the government. The areas where services took a hit were North and Central districts, Mandi House, Seelampur, Jaffrabad, Mustafabad, Jamia Nagar, Shaheen Bagh, and Bawana. Separately, in Ghaziabad, mobile services were suspended for 24 hours on Thursday night to keep a check on anti-social elements.
The protest against CAA was more prominent in Assam, as residents opined the law contradicts the Assam Accord of 1985. To curb protests, the administration suspended mobile internet services last week, which was restored today as things crawled back to normalcy.