Protests against the amended citizenship law continued at many places in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh after Friday prayers despite police restrictions.
Police used water cannons on protestors at Delhi Gate and a car was set on fire. Five more people died after protests spread to eight more districts of Uttar Pradesh.
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad led a massive protest at the Jama Masjid in Delhi, and was detained before he managed to escape.
In Tamil Nadu, police filed a case against 600 people, including actor Siddharth, musician TM Krishna, Lok Sabha MP Thol Thirumavalavan and former MLA MH Jawahirullah, for protesting against the new legislation in Chennai on Thursday. In Delhi, Congress leaders who were protesting near Home Minister Amit Shah’s residence were detained.
Meanwhile, mobile internet services were restored across Assam on Friday morning, several days after it was snapped due to the ongoing protests. But internet services were snapped in several parts of Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka as the state governments tried to bring the law and order situation under control.
Here are the updates from the day:
11.11 pm: Officials say the Delhi Police has detained 40 people in connection with the protests at Daryaganj, reports PTI.
10.58 pm: Doctor Kishore Singh says there is no information on when the detained people will be released from police station.
10.55 pm: Eight minors have been detained at Daryaganj police station. Kishore Singh, doctor at AIIMS, says that “minors had minor bruises and they have been given first aid”. He adds that other detainees are stable.
10.49 pm: The Hindu’s Uttar Pradesh correspondent was briefly detained.
10.45 pm: Some of those injured during the protests have been admitted to Lok Nayak hospital.
10.40 pm: Lawyer Tara Narula confirms that 32 people have been detained at Daryaganj police station. After being allowed inside the station, she tells reporters that some of those detained are minors.
10.20 pm: The home ministry spokesperson’s tweet saying “Indian citizens do not have to prove any ancestry by presenting documents such as identity card, birth certificate etc of parents/grandparents dating back to pre-1971 situation” has been deleted now.
9.53 pm: Assam government has relaxed curfew for 16 hours on Saturday from 6 am to 10 pm in Dibrugarh district, reports ANI.
9.49 pm: Medical Superintendent of Lok Nayak Hospital, Kishore Singh, tells ANI that 36 injured protestors have come for treatment. “One protestor got his leg injured, would be shifted in ward,” he adds.
9.43 pm: Section 144 has also been imposed in 50 districts of Madhya Pradesh after protests against citizenship law, ANI reports.
9.40 pm: Gujarat government has imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which prohibits gathering of more than four people, in Rajkot till January 1, 2020, reports ANI.
9.19 pm: Nationalist Congress Party leader Jayant Patil says there is an unstable atmosphere across the country over the amended citizenship law, reports ANI. “There have been violent protests in northeastern and northern states which is unfortunate,” he adds. “Constitution gives everyone right to protest but violence can never be supported.”
9.10 pm: The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government stayed all work related to the preparation and update of the National Population Register in the state.
On December 16, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had done the same amid violent nationwide protests against the amended Citizenship Act.
9 pm: Images of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at a protest in Delhi’s India Gate against the amended citizenship law.
8.58 pm: Delhi Police in another statement say they used “water cannon and absolutely minimum force to push” protestors at Daryaganj, reports ANI. “Private car parked at Subhash Marg, Darya Ganj was set ablaze,” they add. “The police staff immediately doused the fire. Some police personnel including senior officers were injured in stone-pelting. Around 40 persons have been detained.”
8.50 pm: Police are refusing to let lawyers enter Daryaganj station to meet those detained.
8.48 pm: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued advisory to all television channels to desist from broadcasting content that could incite violence and cause law and order problems. The advisory also extends to the broadcast of any content that “promotes anti-national attitudes and/or contains anything affecting the integrity of the nation”.
8.41 pm: Police are waiting outside Jama Masjid in Delhi to arrest Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, reports Hindustan Times. He had earlier led massive protests against the citizenship law and managed to escape police custody.
8.30 pm: “This government does not want to listen to the voices of the youth,” says Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during protests at India Gate against the amended citizenship law. She questions why the government refuses to talk to students, according to News18.
8.24 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa says he will go to Mangaluru on Saturday and hold a meeting about the law and order situation in the city, reports ANI. “Ahead of yesterday’s protest, police had questioned some people who didn’t have press identity card,” he adds. “Once they came to know that they are journalists they were escorted to Kerala border. Some rumours spread that 40-50 members were detained, this was false.”
8.22 pm: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra joins protestors at India Gate in Delhi, reports PTI. “Citizenship Act and NRC are against the poor,” she says. “Government wants every Indian to stand in line to prove citizenship, as it did after note ban.”
8.15 pm: The Ministry of Home Affairs says no Indian citizen will be unduly harassed or put to inconvenience by asking to prove citizenship by showing documents like birth certificates of parents or grandparents dating back to a period before 1971.
8.06 pm: The ministry urges Malaysia to refrain from commenting on India’s internal developments without right understanding of facts, reports ANI.
8.05 pm: “According to media reports, Malaysia’s prime minister has yet again remarked on matter that is entirely internal to India,” says MEA. “Citizenship Amendment Act provides for citizenship through naturalization to be fast-tracked for non-citizens who are persecuted minorities from three countries.”
8.02 pm: The Ministry of External Affairs says Citizenship Amendment Act does not impact the status of any Indian citizen nor deprives any Indian of any faith of her/his citizenship, reports ANI.
7.57 pm: Internet services to remain suspended in Ghaziabad till 10 am on Saturday, reports ANI. All schools will also remain closed.
7.45 pm: Photos from violence during protests at Delhi Gate against Citizenship Act.
7.37 pm: Students’ collective Pinjra Tod says “police have brutally lathi charged, water cannoned on peaceful protestors” at Delhi Gate. They add that many protestors have suffered serious injuries. However, Delhi Police said they neither baton-charged protestors nor used tear gas this evening.
7.33 pm: Sociologist Sanjay Srivastava tells Scroll.in people were chased by police during the protests against amended citizenship law in Delhi Gate and baton-charged. “Then young men were picked off the street, shoved into buses, beaten mercilessly by the police,” he adds.
7.30 pm: All metro stations except Jama Masjid, Jaffrabad and Maujpur-Babarpur have been opened.
7.22 pm: Sitharaman criticises West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s comments on amended citizenship law, reports ANI. “We never wanted a third party or international fora’s interference in our affairs,” she says. “On a completely domestic matter she has chosen to ask for UN. Does she have no faith in institutions of India?”
Banerjee had on Thursday dared the Bharatiya Janata Party to conduct a United Nations-monitored referendum on the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. However, on Friday she said she was seeking an “opinion poll”, according to NDTV.
7.20 pm: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says it is wrong to link Citizenship Amendment Act with National Register of Citizens, reports News18. “NRC will not begin without consulting state governments,” she says.
7.18 pm: Curfew imposed in parts of Madhya Pradesh after protests against Citizenship Amendment Act, reports PTI. Schools would remain closed on Saturday as a precautionary measure, says District Collector Bharat Yadav.
7.15 pm: Six protestors were killed in violence across Uttar Pradesh during protests against amended citizenship law on Friday, the state police told NDTV. Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh claims that none of the deaths have occurred due to police firing. “We did not fire even a single bullet,” he says.
7.05 pm: Kashmere Gate metro station has been opened and people are allowed to enter Rajiv Chowk station.
6.59 pm: “We used mild force and water cannon, didn’t lathi-charge protestors or lob tear-gas shells,” says Delhi Police on violence at Delhi Gate.
6.55 pm: Randhawa says some outsiders were involved in the violence and they have been detained.
6.50 pm: Delhi Police Public Relations Officer MS Randhawa says many security personnel have been injured in the violence at Delhi Gate, reports PTI.
6.44 pm: The Delhi Traffic Police has closed the stretch between Mandi House and ITO due to violent protests against the citizenship law.
6.40 pm: Sonia Gandhi says Citizenship Amendment Act is discriminatory, and proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens will particularly hurt the poor and vulnerable people.
6.35 pm: “Congress condemns actions of BJP govt, expresses its solidarity with students and citizens in their just struggles,” says Sonia Gandhi. “The Congress assures people that we are fully committed to stand up and defend fundamental rights and to protect the values of our constitution,” she adds.
6.32 pm: Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi accuses the Bharatiya Janata Party government of showing “utter disregard” for people’s voices in the protests against citizenship law. “In a democracy people have the right to raise their voice against wrong decisions and policies of the govt and register their concerns...BJP govt has shown utter disregard for people’s voices & chosen to use brute force to suppress dissent,” she says.
6.27 pm: Chandni Chowk metro station has been closed, and Dilshad Garden station has been opened. So far, 16 stations have been closed.
6.26 pm: Protests against the new citizenship law continues outside Delhi’s Jama Masjid, reports ANI.
6.22 pm: Protestors at Delhi Gate have been chased away towards Jama Masjid and Red Fort, reports Hindustan Times.
6.20 pm: A car has been set on fire at Delhi Gate, reports ANI.
6.12 pm: Police use water cannons on protestors to disperse crowd.
6.06 pm: Protestors also gather at Delhi Gate in Daryaganj area, reports ANI.
6 pm: People protest against Citizenship Act in Delhi’s India Gate.
5.56 pm: Gate number 3 and 4 of Kashmere Gate metro station has been opened, tweets Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
5.52 pm: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray appeals to people of the state to maintain peace amid protests against amendments to citizenship law, reports ANI. “Maharashtra government will ensure that no one’s rights are snatched away,” he says in Nagpur.
5.49 pm: Gujarat government has authorised Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) Manoj Shashidhar to suspend telecom services if needed in the state, reports PTI.
5.45 pm: “I am sitting here on the stairs of Jama Masjid to tell the Modi government that we will not let you kill the Constitution,” says Azad. “This country is ours and we will fight till the end to save it.”
Azad had escaped police custody earlier in the day after leading a massive protest against the amended citizenship law in Jama Masjid.
5.42 pm: “The desire for revolution is in our hearts, we shall see how much strength lies in the arms of the enemy,” tweets Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad. “Hail the Constitution.”
5.36 pm: Kashmere Gate becomes the 17 metro station in Delhi to be closed today amid protests against the new citizenship law.
5.35 pm: Mobile internet and broadband services to remain suspended in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district from 3 pm on Friday until further notice, reports ANI.
5.30 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announces schedule for protests next week against amendments to Citizenship Act.
5.25 pm: Central Secretariat metro station has been closed.
5 pm: A map showing areas with prohibitory orders in place:
4.58 pm: A map showing areas with internet shutdowns:
4.57 pm: Two more metro stations closed in Delhi: Mandi House and Janpath.
4.52 pm: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi urges protestors to keep protesting non-violently, but says, “Don’t stay silent.”
4.47 pm: Entry and exit gates at Rajiv Chowk, Pragati Maidan and Khan Market metro stations are closed. The number of metro stations closed is 13 now.
4.45 pm: Protests turned violent in Beed, Nanded and Parbhani districts of Maharashtra earlier in the day, as protestors pelted stones at state buses, PTI reports.
4.39 pm: News18 reports stone pelting from Seemapuri and Shahdara in North East Delhi.
4.38 pm: Internet services shut in Bhopal, NDTV reports.
4.36 pm: Protestors throw stones at police in Meerut, reports ANI.
4.19 pm: Protests in Jafrabad locality of North East Delhi:
4.13 pm: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar says NRC will not be implemented in the state, PTI reports.
4.12 pm: Johri Enclave becomes the 10th metro station in Delhi to get closed today.
4.09 pm: Journalists detained in Mangaluru have been released, reports News18.
4.07 pm: Police baton-charge protestors in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, reports News18. Clashes reported from Hapur too.
4.07 pm: Protests turn violent in Kanpur too:
4.05 pm: Shiv Vihar metro station on Pink Line also closed. Nine stations are not available for entry and exit now.
4.03 pm: Vehicles set on fire in Muzaffarnagar, News18 reports.
4.01 pm: Kerala Chief Minister P Vijayan writes to his Karnataka counterpart BS Yediyurappa, urges him to release mediapersons from Malayalam news outlets who were detained in Mangaluru.
4 pm: Dilshad Garden metro station closed for entry and exit.
3.59 pm: Pictures from Jama Masjid in Delhi:
3.27 pm: Protestors and police throw stones at each other in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, reports ANI.
3.23 pm: Jamia Millia Islamia metro station in Delhi is closed.
3.16 pm: A protest has turned violent in Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh, as protestors throw stones and vehicles are torched, reports News18.
3.12 pm: Congress leader KC Venugopal tells PTI that the Citizenship Amendment Act will not be implemented in the states ruled by his party.
3.10 pm: Jafrabad and Maujpur-Babarpur metro stations closed.
2.57 pm: The BJP, which is in power in both the Centre and Karnataka, refers to renowned historian and author Ramachandra Guha as an “Urban Naxal”. Guha was detained during a protest in Bengaluru on Thursday.
2.55 pm: Pondicherry University Students’ Council urges students not to participate in the convocation on December 23, which will be attended by President Ram Nath Kovind, in protest against the Citizenship Act and NRC.
2.53 pm: Scenes from Jama Masjid earlier in the afternoon:
2.50 pm: As hundreds of protestors moved towards Jantar Mantar from Jama Masjid, they were stopped near Delhi Gate by police personnel.
2.48 pm: Mamata Banerjee says Prime Minister Narendra Modi should intervene and ensure revocation of amended Citizenship Act, PTI reports.
2.46 pm: Mamata Banerjee, clarifying her remark about a referendum: “I mentioned only opinion poll. I said Human Rights Commission and UN are impartial institutions. Let there be planning with experts of my country. They must organise an opinion poll and Human Rights Commission must take care of what’s going on. I said UN must watch, also said this about National Human Rights Commission. Let them see if people are accepting this or not.”
2.40 pm: Protests continue outside Jama Masjid.
2.37 pm: Entry and exit gates at Delhi Gate metro station have been closed.
2.34 pm: In Hyderabad, police say Friday prayers at Mecca Masjid were peaceful, barring some sloganeering against the Citizenship Amendment Act, PTI reports.
2.22 pm: Chandrashekhar Azad of Bhim Army, who was detained a while ago, has escaped police custody, reports NDTV.
2.17 pm: Karnataka Police restrict entry to Mangaluru for those coming from Kerala, PTI reports. At least 50 men and women who arrived by a train from Kerala taken into custody for trying to enter the city without identity cards.
2.15 pm: Rapid Action Force has been deployed near Jafrabad metro station in Delhi, ANI reports.
2.14 pm: In Delhi, police conducts a flag march in Seelampur. Deputy Commissioner of Police (North East Delhi) VP Surya tells ANI, “There’s peace in area today. Ten companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed and 1,500 other security personnel are also present in the sensitive areas here. Drones also being used to monitor the situation.”
2.11 pm: In Karnataka, Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code is in place in Kodagu, ANI reported.
2.10 pm: Protest outside Hari Masjid in Mumbai:
2.06 pm: Union minister Prakash Javadekar demands an apology from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for suggesting a UN-monitored referendum on the amended citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens, PTI reports. He calls it shocking and asks: “Who is the UN body to monitor the referendum? This is an insult to the 130 crore people of the country and their mandate.”
1.57 pm: The Delhi Police have detained Chandrashekhar Azad, NDTV reports, citing sources. It is not yet clear where he will be taken.
1.54 pm: In Hyderabad, protestors stage a demonstration near Charminar against the new legislation, ANI reports.
1.45 pm: The situation at Jama Masjid is tense, NDTV reports. The police are trying to detain Chandrashekhar Azad despite the huge crowd that has gathered.
1.43 pm: The Bhim Army is expected to lead the procession from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar. The Delhi Police had denied permission for the protest, according to PTI.
1.41 pm: The Delhi Police have deployed drones to track the protest, according to ANI.
1.40 pm: Hundreds of people protest at Jama Masjid against the new legislation. Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad is also present at the venue.
1.35 pm: The UP Police conduct a flag march in Varanasi.
1.34 pm: Congress workers, including senior Karnataka leader MB Patil, detained at Mangaluru airport, ANI reports.
1.06 pm: Union Minister Smriti Irani says the new citizenship legislation does not take away the rights of Indian citizens. “People who are providing support to violent elements, I appeal to the state governments to take the strictest action against them,” she says, according to ANI.
12.50 pm: Top venture capitalist and billionaire Tim Draper says he is concerned by India “choosing one religion over another”.
“Freedom is a big thing for me. More rules and restrictions create more corruption. Anytime one group of people get better treatment than another, the regulations are compounded with unfairness,” Draper tells The Wire. “Unfairness permeates a society like a cancer. I don’t want to invest to support bad behaviour.”
12.46 pm: Chawri Bazar, Lal Qila and Jama Masjid metro stations closed, ANI reports.
12.43 pm: Delhi Police detain Delhi Mahila Congress chief Sharmistha Mukherjee and other party workers, ANI reports. They were protesting near Home Minister Amit Shah’s residence.
12.36 pm: Here are some visuals of the overseas protests
12.35 pm: Protests against the new citizenship law reached overseas this week as the Indian diaspora, including students and teachers, organised demonstrations across major universities in various countries. Protests were organised between Tuesday and Thursday in London, New York, Paris, Washington DC, Berlin, Geneva, The Hague, Barcelona, San Francisco, Tokyo, Amsterdam and Melbourne, a students’ group said. Many protestors demanded a repeal of the amendments and criticised the police action against students in India.
Read more here:
12.30 pm: The Delhi police conducts a flag march in North East Delhi’s Seelampur area. Prohibitory orders are in place in areas under 12 police stations in North East Delhi.
12.25 pm: The Tamil Nadu police file a case against 600 people, including actor Siddharth, musician TM Krishna, Lok Sabha MP Thol Thirumavalavan and former MLA MH Jawahirullah, for protesting in Chennai on Thursday, ANI reports. The police filed a case because the protest was held despite the revoking of permission.
12.18 pm: The Uttar Pradesh police have 3,505 people under preventive custody, according to the Hindustan Times. Of this, 200 people are under detention in Lucknow.
12.11 pm: Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh says 70 people have been arrested from Lucknow following Thursday’s protests, reports News18.
12.09 pm: Russia advises citizens visiting India to be cautious and vigilant in view of the protests against the amendments to Citizenship Act. Last week, several other countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Singapore had advised their citizens to be careful while travelling to India.
12.07 pm: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan writes to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, asks him to prevent attacks on students, PTI reports. “I wish to bring to your kind attention the state of anxiety of the parents and relatives of the students and of the government of Kerala in this regard,” Vijayan writes. “I request your kind intervention so that urgent necessary steps are taken to prevent such attacks against the students.”
12.05 pm: Union Human Resources Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on Thursday asked political parties to keep educational institutions out of their politics, reports The New Indian Express. “I request political parties to keep our esteemed academic institutions away from politics. Such things are not good for our universities,” he said. “Our students are national assets and our priority. The Narendra Modi government is doing everything for their better future.”
11.55 am: Minorities are safe in Bihar under the Janata Dal (United), its chief Nitish Kumar said on Thursday, according to the Hindustan Times. “I take the guarantee that minority communities cannot be ignored and no wrong can happen to them as long as we are at the helm,” he says.
The Janata Dal (United) is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and the party had voted in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in both House of Parliament.
11.53 am: The Lucknow Police detained senior advocate and president of human rights group Rihai Manch, Mohammad Shoaib, on Thursday night, a day after he was put under house arrest. The 76-year-old advocate was put under house arrest on Wednesday, ahead of a scheduled demonstration against the amendments to the Citizenship Act in Lucknow’s Parivartan Chowk.
Rihai Manch General Secretary Rajeev Yadav tells Scroll.in that the police have not named Shoaib in any FIR and said it was not yet clear where he was held.
Read more here:
11.48 am: “Few people not having any accreditation cards issued by any authority, not from any formal media and in possession of many things unconnected to reporting are being questioned,” Mangaluru Police Commissioner PS Harsha says, according to NDTV.
On Thursday, Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai had claimed that people from Kerala were responsible for the violence in Mangaluru. “People who had come from Kerala to participate in the protest also tried to set fire to a police station in Mangaluru and damaged public property. To control the mob, police had to use force,” Bommai told reporters on Thursday.
11.46 am: Kerala Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan says he has sought a report from the Karnataka government, ANI reports.
11.45 am: The Mangaluru Police detain more than 15 journalists from Kerala while they were reporting on the postmortem analysis of the two people who had died in police firing the previous day, The News Minute reports. The city commissioner’s office says they did not have proper accreditation cards.
11.44 am: The Home Department of Karnataka on Thursday night suspended mobile internet services in Dakshina Kannada district, including Mangaluru city commissionerate, for 48 hours, in the wake of violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, The News Minute reports. Additional Chief Secretary to the Home Department Rajneesh Goel said that internet services were being banned on Friday and Saturday due to the “possibility of fake news spreading” in Mangaluru.
Read more here:
11.42 am: Janata Dal (United) leader and political strategist Prashant Kishor told NDTV on Thursday that though the intent of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens may be good, it will the poor who will suffer the most when these laws are implemented.
Kishor said that most poor Indians will not have the documents to prove their citizenship. “It will be a huge logistical nightmare,” he added. “This will result in loss of wages, harassment, bribery.”
Read more here:
11.40 am: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Thursday vowed to “take revenge” against people who had damaged public property during the protests against the amendments to the Citizenship Act. “There is no place for violence in a democracy,” said Adityanath. “In the name of opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Congress, SP [Samajwadi Party] and Left parties have pushed the entire country into fire.”
Read more here:
11.39 am: Senior advocates ask Delhi High Court to take contempt of court action against lawyers who raised “shame, shame” slogans on Thursday while the court was hearing petitions relating to the violence against students of Jamia Millia Islamia University, PTI reports.
The court says it will refer the matter to a relevant committee.
11.37 am: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati says her party has always been against the Citizenship Amendment Act but doesn’t believe in destruction of public property and violence.
11.32 am: Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure is in place in North East Delhi. “Police is conducting flag march and keeping a close watch on social media accounts,” ANI reports.
11.30 am: Kishan Reddy adds that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s statement seeking a United Nations-monitored referendum on the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens is “irresponsible”.
“The base of Trinamool Congress is slipping away, that is why she is tense and what she is saying even she doesn’t know,” Reddy tells ANI.
11.27 am: Kishan Reddy adds that there is no timeline yet to implement to a nationwide NRC. “When it will be brought has not been worked out,” Reddy tells NDTV. “There is no draft made yet nor has the cabinet approved it or any legal framework has been worked out.”
“Once normalcy is restored in the country, centre would be speaking to everyone before taking out CAA draft rules,” he adds.
11.25 am: Union Minister of State (Home) G Kishan Reddy appeals to people to not protest, ANI reports. “There is not a single word or line against any Indian citizen in Citizenship (Amendment) Act,” he says. “Also ask political parties and intellectuals who are misleading people, are you trying to divide people on basis of religion?”
11.22 am: The Uttar Pradesh police file an FIR against 17 people, including Samajwadi Party leaders Shafiqur Rahman Baig and Feroz Khan, in connection with the violence in Sambhal on Thursday, ANI reports.
11.20 am: “I have invited leaders of anti-CAA agitation for talks as problems can only be solved through discussions,” Sonowal adds, according to PTI. “Only those that moved to Assam from Bangladesh decades ago due to religious persecution will be able to apply for Indian citizenship.”
11.15 am: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal says there is no threat to the Assamese language or identity. “In no way will the honour of Assam be affected,” he says, according to ANI. “We will always have the support of the people and will move forward with peace in the state.”
9.35 am: Mobile internet services restored across Assam, ANI reports. The Gauhati High Court had on Thursday directed that they be restored by 5 pm that day itself.
9.30 am: Mobile internet services have been suspended in Lucknow and other parts of Uttar Pradesh such as Ghaziabad, Sambhal, Aligarh, Mau, Azamgarh, Saharanpur, Meerut, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Bareilly, Agra, Kanpur, Unnao and Moradabad districts. It will be suspended till December 21 in Lucknow, PTI reports. In Ghaziabad, internet is expected to be down till 10 pm on Friday.
9.25 am: Two rallies are scheduled in Delhi on Friday, reports News18. One rally, organised by the Bhim Army, will go from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar at 2 pm. Another is expected to be held at India Gate at 5 pm. But the Delhi Police have denied permission to the Bhim Army, according to ANI.
9.20 am: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has closed the Jamia Millia Islamia and Jasola Vihar Shaheen Bagh stations, ANI reports.
9.10 am: Here are the top updates from Thursday:
- At least two deaths were reported from Mangaluru in Karnataka, and one from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh as the police and protestors clashed. However, Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police OP Singh claimed it was unlikely that the person who died in Lucknow died due to a bullet injury.
- Thousands of protestors were detained across the country throughout Thursday as rallies were held in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Ahmedabad and many other cities. This included activists such as Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan and Harsh Mander, Left leaders D Raja, Sitaram Yechury, Nilotpal Basu and Brinda Karat, and former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid, and historian Ramachandra Guha.
- Despite the massive protests, Bharatiya Janata Party Working President Jagat Prakash Nadda said that both the act and the National Register of Citizens will be implemented throughout the country. Nadda made the remarks after meeting Sikh refugees from Afghanistan in Delhi.
- However, most key Union ministers maintained silence over the protests.
- West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dared the BJP to conduct a United Nations-monitored referendum on the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. The Congress accused the government of muzzling the voice of people through draconian measures like shutting of internet and misusing prohibitory orders, and says “undeclared emergency” has been imposed in the country. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan sought the help of Amit Shah to prevent attacks by certain groups on students from the state, who had been agitating against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
- Human rights organisation Amnesty International India criticised the crackdown on people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Amnesty India’s Executive Director Avinash Kumar said the Citizenship Act was a “bigoted law” that legitimises discrimination on the basis of religion.
- In the evening, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting to review the security situation in the country. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy and Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla attended the meeting.
- In Delhi, prohibitory orders were imposed at the police station areas in Kashmere Gate, Kotwali, and Lahori Gate. The Delhi Police issued an order to block communication of all kinds – voice, SMS and internet – from 9 am to 1 pm in some areas. Some telecom operators also shut down their services briefly following police advice.
9 am: The Citizenship Amendment Act seeks to provide citizenship to people from six persecuted minority communities in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan – but excludes Muslims from its scope. The law, passed by Parliament on December 11, has been decried as anti-Muslim. Protestors in the northeastern states have alleged that it will erode their distinct ethnic identities.
Guwahati in Assam was the initial epicentre of the protests but they have since spread out to the rest of the country.