More than 100 protestors were detained in Bengaluru on Thursday as people took to the streets in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens, The Indian Express reported. People ignored prohibitory orders imposed in the city and other parts of the state under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure till December 21.
Guha claimed he was detained while he was “holding a poster of Gandhi and speaking about the Constitution to the press”. He said it was “absolutely undemocratic” that police were not allowing even a peaceful protest.
“We are protesting against this totally discriminatory act which is against our Constitution and also Section 144,” Guha said. “Are we a colonial regime? British Raj used Section 144 to suppress Gandhiji’s movement. I feel sorry for the police that masters in Delhi have to give them these orders.”
He added: “We are for the values of pluralism and democracy. I am the biographer of Mahatma Gandhi. I know what Gandhi ji stood for, and the present government in Delhi, the BJP government, is totally antithetical to the values of the freedom struggle and the Hindu-Muslim unity that Gandhi advocated.”
Initially, police personnel detained everyone trying to march to Bengaluru Town Hall, but later on allowed people to gather there, reported The Quint.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticised the BJP government for detaining Ramachandra Guha. “I condemn the detention of Ram Guha,” she tweeted. “We extend our full solidarity to all those detained.”
Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan also echoed Banerjee’s comments. “I applaud with glee at the stupidity of the government for stoking the fire of Satyagraha by arresting the thinking and questioning minds of India like Ramachandra Guha and Yogendra Yadav,” he tweeted. “Yet I am concerned for their safety. India stands with you.”
CM accuses Congress of instigating violence
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa directed the police to act against “goonda elements threatening law and order and not common citizens”, reported The New Indian Express. He urged political parties, leaders and people to maintain peace, according to ANI. “Citizenship Amendment Act is no threat to people of this country, it’s only an Act applied to people from other countries who seek Indian citizenship,” the chief minister added.
Earlier in the day, Yediyurappa accused the Congress of fuelling protests against the citizenship law. “The Congress is behind protests against CAA,” he added. “Taking care of Muslims is our responsibility. Request all to maintain peace. If Congress leaders continue to support protests then they’ll face consequences.”
Meanwhile, a petition was filed before the Karnataka High Court challenging the imposition of Section 144. The plea will be heard on December 21.
State Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai told a news website on Wednesday that the prohibitory orders were “a precautionary measure” since the government does not want any violence.