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Citizenship Amendment Act protests LIVE updates: Din in Maharashtra Assembly over implementation of CAA; Assam activist Akhil Gogoi brought to NIA headquarters – Firstpost

12:23 (IST)

Nawab Malik likens Amit Shah to General Dyer

NCP’s Nawab Malik, while speaking to ANI, said that Home Minister Amit Shah is no less than General Dyer. “The way General Dyer fired at the people in Jallianwala Bagh, Amit Shah is firing at citizens of the country,” Malik said.

He expressed support for Uddhav Thackeray’s statement, in which he had said that what happened at Jamia Millia Islamia was like Jallianwala Bagh.

12:19 (IST)

Din in Maharashtra Assembly over amended Citizenship Act

The Maharashtra Assembly witnessed an uproar when the opposition BJP objected to senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan’s comments that the amended Citizenship Act should not be implemented in the state.
Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said, “Both the Houses of Parliament have passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. This (state) government can’t decide not to implement it.” Senior BJP leader Sudhir ​Mungantiwar said, “The Assembly members cannot comment on decisions of the President, Assembly speaker and Parliament. Hence, CAA cannot be called ‘unconstitutional’.”
NCP member Jitendra Awhad objected to it and said any law which is available in public domain can be discussed in the House. Amid the noisy scenes following arguments over the issue, the speaker adjourned the House for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said that the Act will be implemented in the south Indian state.

12:16 (IST)

Anti-CAA protest outside Jamia enters third day

Protest against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens outside Jamia Millia Islamia University entered the third day.
The protesters, including students and local residents, hung a large map of India outside the varsity gate number 7 showing the places where students from other universities are carrying out protests against the Citizenship Act. Another large poster urged the protesters “to maintain the acceleration with zero violence (sic)”.

12:14 (IST)

Police take 18 people into preventive custody, day after Seelampur violence

Delhi Police took 18 persons into preventive custody, citing the possibility of them indulging in mischief, PTI reported.
Angry protesters demanding scrapping of the amended citizenship law had torched several motor bikes, pelted stones at police personnel and damaged buses and a police booth in northeast Delhi’s Seelampur on Tuesday. Similar protests were seen in Jaffrabad, Brijpuri and Dayalpur.

11:51 (IST)

Delhi HC to hear PIL seeking fact-finding committee to look into Jamia violence

The agreed to hear a PIL seeking the setting up of a fact- finding committee to look into the recent violence at Jamia Milia Islamia University.
The petition was mentioned before a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Rekha Palli by advocate Rizwan and the court allowed it to be listed on Thursday. The plea has sought judicial inquiry into the action taken by the police, including allegedly firing at students. It also sought proper medical treatment and compensation for the injured students.

11:49 (IST)

Curfew relaxed in Shillong; mobile internet ban stays in force

Curfew was relaxed for 14 hours in Shillong on Wednesday even as the ban on mobile internet services remained in force.
The curfew was relaxed from 6 am in areas under Lumdiengjri police station and Sadar police station limits, an order issued by East Khasi Hills District Magistrate MW ​Nongbri said. Curfew will be reimposed in these areas from 8 pm till further orders. Banks, markets and shops were open and vehicles were plying on the roads.
Citizenship law protesters will be organising a prayer meeting at Students Field here later in the day.

11:42 (IST)

Guwahati peasants’ leader Akhil Gogoi brought NIA headquarters in Delhi, alleges “extreme torture”

Guwahati Peasants’ leader​ Akhil Gogoi was brought to the NIA headquarters on Tuesday night. Gogoi, arrested under the stringent UAPA amid protests over the citizenship law, was sent to 10-day NIA custody. He was arrested on 12 December in Jorhat amid widespread violent protests in Assam and was later handed over to the NIA.

The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti leader was brought to Guwahati from Jorhat amid tight security and was produced at the court, which remanded him to 10-day NIA custody.

The court also directed the NIA to ensure regular medical checkup of Gogoi and allow his family members and lawyers to meet him. As he was being taken to the court, he shouted that he has been subjected to “prochondo atyachar” (extreme torture). “The agitation must not stop. I appeal to people to continue the protests till the law is repealed,” he said before being taken tothe court room.

11:30 (IST)

SC admits 59 petitions against CAA, will decide on legality of law

The Supreme Court of India admitted 59 petitions against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Law 2019 and has asked the Centre to file its reply by second week of January. The petitions under consideration include, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh’s plea challenging constittutionality of the Citizenship law. 

11:20 (IST)

SC issues notice to Centre on CAA

The Supreme Court of India has issued a notice to Centre as it admitted a bunch of petitions challenging the Citizenshp Amendment Act. The court has, however, refused to stay the law as enacted by the Parliament. The centre is supposed to file its reply in the second week of January. 

11:17 (IST)

Gorakhpur doctor Kafeel Khan booked by Aligarh Police for instigating violence

 

Kafeel Khan, the doctor who hit the headlines in Gorakhpur after the death of 60 children in the BRD hospital in 2017, has now been booked for allegedly giving a provocative speech at the open talk in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. The police said that the FIR was registered against him under section 153-A (Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion) of IPC and a probe was underway. 

Khan was booked for negligence of duty in the BRD hospital deaths but was later given a clean chit

10:53 (IST)

Normalcy returns to Guwahati, curfew relaxed in Dibrugarh

Normalcy returned in Guwahati while the curfew imposed in Dibrugarh was relaxed for 14 hours since 6 am on Wednesday. The curfew imposed in Guwahati, the gateway to the Northeast, on 11 December in the wake of protests against the citizenship law was lifted on Tuesday following improvement in law and order, officials said. No fresh incidents of violence have been reported in Assam on Wednesday morning.

10:45 (IST)

Protests continue in Madras university for the third straight day

A section of students of the Madras University here continued their protest for the third day on Wednesday against the amendment to the Citizenship Act. Defiant students said they will continue their agitation. Meanwhile, police personnel continued to be deployed on the campus. Police personnel, who had entered the campus on Tuesday, said they had done so for the “safety of the students.”

10:32 (IST)

Assam PFI chief arrested; IIT Guwahati professors likely to be arrested too

Assam Popular Front of India (PFI) president Aaminul Haque was arrested by Dispur Police. He has been accused of inciting violence during the Citizenship Amendment Bill protests in Guwahati this week.

Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had alleged the involvement of PFI in the recent violence in Guwahati at a press meet on Tuesday. Professors of IIT Guwahati and Tezpur University are also likely to be arrested too

10:29 (IST)

BSP leaders reach Rashtrapati Bhavan

Bahujan Samaj Party’s parliamentary delegation will meet President Ram Nath Kovind to appeal to him to repeal the Citizenship Act. Among the delegation will be the party’s MP in Rajya Sabha Satish Chandra Mishra.

BSP was not a part of an Opposition delegation, led by interim Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, which met President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday to express concern over the violence and police crackdown on Jamia Milia Islamia University on Sunday evening.

Congress leaders P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, AK Antony, TMC’s Derek O’Brien and CPM’s Sitaram Yechury were seen accompanying Sonia Gandhi to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

10:23 (IST)

Section 144 imposed in Delhi’s North East district

Section 144 of the  Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) has been imposed in North East district of Delhi, prohibiting prohibit the assembly of more than four people in the area.

The police also conducted patrolling in the Seelampur area, which had witnessed violent protests and stone-pelting on Tuesday.

10:10 (IST)

Six arrested in connection with incidents of violence in Delhi

Three FIRs were registered in Seelampur, Jafrabad and Dayalpur police stations in connection with Tuesday’s incident. Five persons were arrested for Seelampur and Jafrabad incidents, while one was arrested late night for the Dayalpur incident, PTI reported.

Raids are being conducted to apprehend some other people who have also been identified, ANI reported. Delhi Police had filed two FIRs in connection with the violence in Jaffrabad under the Indian Penal Code sections for rioting and damaging public property. Five people were detained and their backgrounds were being checked by the police. One FIR was also registered in Brijpuri under relevant IPC sections for stone-pelting.

10:05 (IST)

Okhla underpass and portion of Mathura Road in New Delhi closed for traffic

Okhla underpass and a portion of Mathura Road were closed for traffic movement on Wednesday morning, the Delhi Traffic Police said. “Road No. 13A between Mathura Road and Kalindi Kunj is closed for traffic movement. People coming from Noida are advised to take DND or Akshardham to reach Delhi,” the traffic police tweeted.
Similarly people going to Noida from Mathura road are advised to take Ashram Chowk, DND or Noida link road, the police said. “Okhla underpass going towards Kalindi Kunj is also closed for traffic movement,” they tweeted.

10:02 (IST)

No fresh incident of violence in West Bengal, says police

No fresh incident of violence over amended citizenship law was reported in West Bengal, police said.
However, a senior police officer and two other personnel were injured when a group of agitators hurled crude bombs at them in Sankrail area of Howrah district on Tuesday night.
Howrah City Police Deputy Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) Ajeet Singh Yadav was injured in both his legs after being hit by splinters of the bomb but was discharged from a hospital after he was administered medical aid.

10:00 (IST)

CAA has nothing to with Muslims in India, says Delhi Jama Masjid’s Shahi Imam

Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari clarified that under the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Muslim refugees who come to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh will not get Indian citizenship. “It has nothing to do with the Muslims living in India,” he told ANI.

09:55 (IST)

CAA threat to language, culture of North East, Assamese association in North America writes to Modi

The recently enacted Citizenship Amendment Act will adversely impact people of Assam and the northeast, an association representing the Assamese community in North America said.
In a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Assam Association of North America urged that the Assam Accord of 1985 be implemented in its entirety, where it should prevail over the Act in case of any conflict.  “The recent passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019,  causes us concern that it will adversely impact the people of Assam and the northeast,” said the association in its letter, dated 14 December.
“We see this Act as a threat to the integrity and unabridged continuity of language, culture, demographics and economic wellbeing of the indigenous population of Assam and the northeast,” the letter read.

09:48 (IST)

Gates of Delhi’s Jaffrabad, Maujpur-Babarpur metro stations closed

Entry and exit gates of Jaffrabad and Maujpur-Babarpur Metro stations in Delhi were closed. However, interchange facility will continue towards Shiv Vihar at Maujpur.

09:44 (IST)

Congress’ Asif Khan named in FIR concerning 15 December Jamia violence

Former Congress MLA Asif Khan has been named as an accused in the FIR for his alleged involvement in the Jamia Millia Islamia incident that took place on 15 December. “The violence took place two days ago and the viral video was made by me yesterday in reaction to an inciting video by Jamia Nagar’s SHO. I’ve been protesting peacefully in Shaheen Bagh. Why are cases being registered in New Friends Colony and Jamia Nagar?” he asked, while talking to ANI.

Meanwhile, RP Meena, Addl DCP North East Delhi said that peaceful protests in Brijpuri took a violent turn when some the protesters started pelting stones. He added that they dispersed after the police held talked with them.

09:38 (IST)

Kalindi Kunj road, connecting Noida and Delhi, to remain closed

On directions of Delhi Police, the Noida Traffic Police extended the closure of the Kalindi Kunj road, which connects Noida and Delhi. The road will remain closed today, even as the situation in Delhi remains tense since the 15 December Jamia violence. Commuters have been asked to use an alternate route to reach Deli and Faridabad.

09:34 (IST)

Bhupesh Baghel says he will not sign NRC if Centre implements it

Slamming the BJP-led central government over the Citizenship Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said that if the NRC is implemented, then he will be the first person not to sign it.​

Baghel further stated that just like Mahatma Gandhi started a movement in South Africa, he will oppose “kale angrez” (black foreigners) in India.

09:28 (IST)

Man in red shirt seen during Jamia protests is AATS constable, says police

Police clarified that the man in civil clothes seen beating up a group of women Jamia students is not a civilian, but a Delhi police personnel from the auto theft squad. “He is constable Arvind from the Anti-auto Theft Squad. On that day all reserve policemen were called for law and order duty. The AATS men are usually not in uniform,” Delhi police sources told News18.

Top brass of the police, however, could not clarify why a man with no identification badge was allowed to wield the lathi in violation of established protocol.

The presence of the man in the red shirt had raised many questions on social media.

09:21 (IST)

JNU students protest setting up of police post within campus

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union claimed that a police post was being set up in the varsity’s premises and that police personnel were entering campus like they had done at Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University. 
They also condemned the varsity administration for issuing a circular allowing students to submit their end semester examination answers through email/images of handwritten scripts through WhatsApp/personally to course professors.
However, sources said the police ‘post’ is in fact a tent which was being set up so that policemen can sit there and escape the biting cold.  Sources said that the High Court had directed police to ensure that no protests take place within 100 metres of the campus and that is why policemen in plainclothes are posted there. However, the tent will not be placed now since the students have threatened to vandalise it. 

09:19 (IST)

Mamata Banerjee to hold rallies in Kolkata on 19, 20 Dec

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would lead two more rallies against the amended Citizenship Act in the city on Thursday and Friday, party sources told PTI.
The TMC supremo will address a rally at Rani Rashmoni Road on 19 December, and at the minority-dominated Park Circus area the next day.
She has been leading protest marches and rallies in Kolkata since Monday, insisting that Citizenship Act will not be implemented in West Bengal.

08:56 (IST)

Delhi Police doing what they blamed Kashmiris for, Digvijaya Singh says about stone-pelting in capital

Sharing a video of a stone-pelting incident in Delhi, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh asked if Home Minister Amit Shah gave the cops the permission to so the same. He criticised the government for pelting stones, when that is what they criticised the Kashmiris for.

“Amit Shah, did you permit Delhi Police to pelt stones? Were they trained for this too? Your government blamed Kashmiri youths for this, but the police too is engaging in stone-pelting now,” he tweeted. Stone-pelting incidents were reported in Delhi’s Seelampur and Brijpuri on Tuesday.

08:48 (IST)

10,000 academics, members of civil society sign petition against police action at Jamia, curfew at AMU

The brutalization of students and the attack on universities is against the fundamental norms of a democratic society. As teachers, students, scholars and members of civil society across the world, we are watching with extreme concern the situation unfolding at Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University.

Read full text here

08:44 (IST)

Assam govt employees to cease work

In protest against the amended Citizenship Act, employees of the Assam government will cease work. ​Sadou Asam Karmachari Parishad (SAKP) President Basab Kalita told PTI that all employees of the state government across Assam will not attend offices on 18 December.

“We have opposed the Bill since the beginning and will continue to do so till the Act is revoked,” he said.

When members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) came to the state in May last year to take opinion of the people of Assam on the Bill, the SAKP had submitted a memorandum raising objections, Kalita said.

08:41 (IST)

Calcutta HC to hear writ petitions against Mamata Banerjee, Kolkata Mayor

The Kolkata High Court will hear three writ petitions challenging Mamata Banerjee’s statement about the Citizenship Act not being applicable to West Bengal, an advertisement given in the media to this effect using public funds and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim’s hate speech, blaming BJP for violence in the state.

08:37 (IST)

BSP to meet President seeking repeal of citizenship law

The Bahujan Samaj Party will be meeting President Ram Nath Kovind to seek the repeal of the new Citizenship Act. The BSP, which was not part of other Opposition parties in their visit to the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday, would be meeting the President separately.

“We had sought time from President Ram Nath Kovind and would be meeting him tomorrow morning,” BSP leader Danish Ali told PTI.

08:35 (IST)

Mamata Banerjee to lead protest march in Kolkata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will hold a march from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade in Kolkata. She has been conducting protest marches against the amended Citizenship Act since Monday.

TMC MPs Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty also joined the protest rally on Tuesday. Scores of TMC workers, senior party leaders and protesters rallied behind her as she took to streets.

08:31 (IST)

SC to hear petitions challenging Citizenship Act

Petitions against Citizenship Amendment Act will come up for hearing in Supreme Court at around 11.30 am. The petitions have been filed by various political parties, including Congress, Indian Union Muslim League and Trinamool Congress. Former bureaucrats, NGOs and students are among the other petitioners.

A total of 59 petitions are listed for hearing in the apex court concerning the citizenshp law.

Citizenship Amendment Act protests LATEST updates: The Maharashtra Assembly witnessed an uproar when the opposition BJP objected to senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan’s comments that the amended Citizenship Act should not be implemented in the state. Protest against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens outside Jamia Millia Islamia University entered the third day.

The Delhi High Court agreed to hear a PIL seeking the setting up of a fact- finding committee to look into the recent violence at Jamia Milia Islamia University. It also sought proper medical treatment and compensation for the injured students.

Guwahati Peasants’ leader​ Akhil Gogoi was brought to the NIA headquarters on Tuesday night. Gogoi, arrested under the stringent UAPA amid protests over the citizenship law, was sent to 10-day NIA custody. Curfew was relaxed for 14 hours in Shillong on Wednesday even as the ban on mobile internet services remained in force.

The Supreme Court of India has issued a notice to Centre as it admitted a bunch of petitions challenging the Citizenshp Amendment Act. The court has, however, refused to stay the law as enacted by the Parliament.

Kafeel Khan, the doctor who hit the headlines in Gorakhpur after the death of 60 children in the BRD hospital in 2017, has now been booked for allegedly giving a provocative speech at the open talk in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

Six people have been arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with the incident of violence and stone-pelting in Seelampur on Tuesday, ANI reported. Raids are being conducted to apprehend some other people who have also been identified. Delhi Police had filed three FIRs in connection with the violence in Jaffrabad and Brijpuri.

No fresh incident of violence over amended citizenship law was reported in West Bengal, police said. However, a senior police officer and two other personnel were injured when a group of agitators hurled crude bombs at them in Sankrail area of Howrah district on Tuesday night.

Former Congress MLA Asif Khan has been named as an accused in the FIR for his alleged involvement in the Jamia Millia Islamia incident that took place on 15 December.

The recently enacted Citizenship Amendment Act will adversely impact people of Assam and the northeast, an association representing the Assamese community in North America said. In a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Assam Association of North America urged that the Assam Accord of 1985 be implemented in its entirety, where it should prevail over the Act in case of any conflict.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would lead two more rallies against the amended Citizenship Act in Kolkata on Thursday and Friday. Meanwhile, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union claimed that a police post was being set up in the varsity’s premises and that police personnel were entering campus like they had done at Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University.

Slamming the BJP-led central government over the Citizenship Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said that if the NRC is implemented, then he will be the first person not to sign it.​ On the other hand, Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari clarified the Citizenship Act has nothing to do with the Muslims living in India.

Sharing a video of a stone-pelting incident in Delhi, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh asked if Home Minister Amit Shah gave the cops the permission to so the same. He criticised the government for pelting stones, when that is what they criticised the Kashmiris for.

Petitions against Citizenship Amendment Act will come up for hearing in Supreme Court at around 11.30 am. The petitions have been filed by various political parties, including Congress, Indian Union Muslim League and Trinamool Congress. Former bureaucrats, NGOs and students are among the other petitioners.

Violent clashes broke out in the Delhi on Tuesday as students, Opposition leaders and activists across the country stepped up their protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, even as the government asserted it is “firm” on the implementation of the contentious law, and the Supreme Court refused a plea to set up an inquiry panel to probe the violence.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the “Congress and its friends” of spreading lies over the new law and asked students to try and analyse whether they were being made accomplices in a “conspiracy” where “urban Naxals” and others were “using their shoulders” to serve their own interests.

As fresh protests erupted across campuses and on streets in various regions and several Opposition parties demanded the withdrawal of what they called an “unconstitutional and divisive” law, Home Minister Amit Shah said there was no question of going back on its implementation and expressed confidence about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) standing legal scrutiny.

“We are as firm as a rock on its implementation,” he said.

Shah also said action being taken only against those engaging in vandalism and arson during protests and not against students opposing the CAA. He also directed Delhi Police to ensure peace in the National Capital.

According to police, at least 29 people have been arrested for violent clashes over the last couple of days in Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and in parts of Uttar Pradesh, while two FIRs were registered in connection with Tuesday’s violence during a protest in Delhi’s Seelampur and Jafrabad areas that left 21 people, including 12 policemen, injured.

Reportedly, protesters in Seelampur torched motorbikes, pelted stones at police personnel and damaged buses and a police booth, while police resorted to baton charge and fired tear gas shells to disperse the protesters. The situation was brought under control after a stand-off that continued for about one-and-a-half hour, police officials said, while blaming the clashes on a “hidden mob” that swelled to 4,000 to 5,000 people.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, BJP’s East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir and Seelampur’s AAP MLA Haji Ishraq appealed to people to maintain peace and distance themselves from violence.

Braving the winter temperatures, thousands of people poured into the streets near Jamia Millia Islamia for a peaceful protest. Holding the Tricolour and placards, they raised slogans like “Azaadi (freedom) from atrocities” and formed human chains, while some women-led groups took out marches in the narrow lanes of nearby residential areas.

Schoolchildren held out placards saying “we want justice” as their buses drove through the area.

A group of injured Jamia Millia Islamia students also held a press conference along with some activists and alleged “barbaric” beatings, abuse, and humiliation by the police during their crackdown on those protesting against the new law on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference along with some activists, one Jamia student said he had been beaten “mercilessly” when he was studying in the library along with 25 others, including 10-12 girls, while several others also alleged that many were injured in the police action in Jamia as well as in Uttar Pradesh’s Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

Jamia vice-chancellor Najma Akhtar on Tuesday sent a report to the Human Resource Development Ministry detailing the sequence of events about the police action in campus, PTI reported, adding that no formal request has been received for ordering a high-level inquiry.

On Tuesday, despite nationwide protests, the Supreme Court declined to set up a committee of a retired apex court judge to inquire into the incidents of violence in different parts of the country since Sunday and asked the petitioners to approach respective high courts.

The police said it has arrested 10 people with criminal background for Sunday’s violence near Jamia Millia Islamia, but none of them are students. The police had on Sunday detained around 50 students, who were released later.

The university had virtually turned into a battlefield on Sunday as police entered the campus and also used force, leading to violence and arson in which four DTC buses, 100 private vehicles and 10 police bikes were damaged.

A senior MHA official said the police did not fire any bullet on protesters near Jamia on Sunday, but an empty cartridge was found in the area.

Under the new citizenship law, all but Muslims who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till 31 December 2014, can be given Indian citizenship.

Protests are being held across the country ever since the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, was introduced in the Parliament earlier this month for this law.

A section of the students of the Madras University also continued their protest for the second day on Tuesday against the amendment to the Citizenship Act, even as police entered the campus.

Defiant students said they will continue their agitation “through the night”.

While police personnel who entered the campus said they were for the “safety of the students”, the protesters alleged two of the students were picked up by the police.

Police sources told PTI that two students have been called for questioning over allegedly inciting students of affiliated colleges to join the stir at the varsity’s Marina campus.

The varsity, according to the about 50 protesting students, has declared holiday till 2 January.

“Today, they declared holiday till 23 December, the university is anyway scheduled to close for Christmas holidays from 24 December till 2 January… declaring a holiday now till 23 December is only to stifle our protest,” one of the coordinators and a PG political science student, K Ragu Prasath told PTI.

The coordinator claimed that the two students are “under the custody of police”.

Fresh protests took place on Tuesday in Kerala, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Maharashtra, West Bengal and several other parts of the country as well.

In Hyderabad, students from the Osmania University and the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) held protests against CAA and police action in Jamia Milia Islamia. They raised slogans against the BJP government and Delhi Police like, “We want Justice”, “Want Democracy, Not Dictatorship”, among others.

In Gujarat, protesters gathered outside the Sabarmati Ashram with anti-CAA placards.

In Kerala, stones were hurled at state transport buses, shops were forcibly closed and protest marches were held in support of a dawn-to-dusk hartal, while over 200 people were taken into preventive custody.

In Tamil Nadu, DMK president MK Stalin called the new law “hasty and autocratic” and alleged the BJP-led Centre’s objective was not India’s progress but trampling the rights of Muslims.

The curfew was lifted in Assam’s Guwahati following an improvement in the law and order situation. Curfew was relaxed in Shillong too.

In West Bengal, protesters blocked roads and railway tracks. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, in a rally on Tuesday, said that the BJP cannot bully the states into enforcing the law.

In Uttar Pradesh, officials said 26 people, including eight students, were arrested in connection with the AMU violence, have been released on personal bonds.

However, 19 people were arrested in the Mau area of the state for violence on Monday night after the police action in Jamia. On Tuesday, scattered protests were held in the state with no report of any violence. The police have detained 113 people for allegedly trying to vitiate atmosphere with their posts on social media.

Opposition leaders also knocked on the doors of President Ram Nath Kovind urging him to intervene on the issue of violence in central universities and advised the Modi government to withdraw the “unconstitutional and divisive” citizenship amendment law.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who led the delegation, alleged the Modi government was “shutting down” people’s voices and bringing legislations which are not acceptable to them.

Separately addressing a meet of vice-chancellors and directors of central universities, Kovind asked them to ensure that higher educational institutes emerge as spaces that nurture free expression and ideas. The government officials maintained that the situation in 42 central universities, except the two, was peaceful.

Meanwhile, BJP and ABVP workers also staged demonstrations at some places to support the new law.

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Updated Date: Dec 18, 2019 12:32:09 IST

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