The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and its allies organised a rally against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Chennai on Monday. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi held another protest in New Delhi. There was also a massive protest in Bengaluru.
BJP working president JP Nadda claimed at a rally in Kolkata on Monday that the Act does not violate the Constitution. The Calcutta High Court, meanwhile, asked the West Bengal government to stop all media campaigns against the National Register of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Act.
Twenty-four people have been killed since the anti-Citizenship Act protests erupted. The highest number of deaths have been reported from Uttar Pradesh, where 17 people were killed since December 19.
10.55 pm: The health department in Ghaziabad has cancelled leaves of all government doctors and paramedical staff for the next 15 days, in the wake of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, PTI reports. All government hospitals, primary and community health centres have been put on alert in the district, Chief Medical Officer NK Gupta says.
9.07 pm: A Lucknow court rejects the bail petition of Congress leader Sadaf Zafar, who was arrested while protesting against the new citizenship legislation last week, PTI reports.
“She [Zafar] was beaten brutally by the police. She was hit on her back and her hair was pulled,” Congress state president Ajay Kumar Lallu, who met Zafar in jail earlier in the day, had said.
9 pm: The Ghaziabad Police register a case against Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan for allegedly sharing an objectionable post on social media, ANI reports.
8.35 pm: Referring to Modi’s comment that protestors could easily be identified by their clothes, Gandhi says: “When it comes to clothes, the entire nation knows you because of your clothes. It was you who had worn a suit worth Rs 2 crore, it was not the people of the country.”
8.11 pm: “The country will not let you attack the Constitution and suppress voice of ‘Bharat Mata’,” Gandhi adds.
8.10 pm: “Narendra Modi, when you get students shot at by bullets and when you get them lathicharged, or when you threaten journalists, then you try to suppress the voice of our country,” Gandhi says, according to ANI.
8.10 pm: “Narendra Modi should tell country why he is suppressing the voice of students and why they are not getting jobs,” Rahul Gandhi says at the demonstration in Raj Ghat. “You could not provide jobs and destroyed economy, that is why you are hiding behind hate. You have been taught how to break country and spread hatred; you are number one in that.”
8 pm: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi criticises the Bharatiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the party’s demonstration in the Raj Ghat, PTI reports. “What our enemies could not do is now being done by Narendra Modi to stall our progress,” Gandhi says.
7.56 pm: Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan says Prime Minister Narendra Modi is like a god to persecuted communities that will benefit from the amended citizenship law.
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7.45 pm: Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma says the state government is not happy with the National Register of Citizens exercise and wants a “reverification of 20% of names in the border districts”. Without it, “we don’t want to accept the present NRC”, Sarma says, according to ANI.
7.02 pm: The members of a feminist group in Kolkata were attacked by men allegedly wielding sticks and shouting “Jai Shri Ram” on Sunday night for organising a mobile campaign against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens exercise. While one person was beaten, others received minor injuries. One woman also filed a molestation complaint against one of the attackers.
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6.57 pm: Here are some visuals from the Congress’ protest in Delhi:
6.55 pm: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy says his government is against the nationwide National Register of Citizens and will not implement it in the state, ANI reports.
6.10 pm: Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act continued on Monday, with thousands of people showing up at rallies in Bengaluru and Chennai.
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5.47 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says the Jharkhand Assembly poll results were a verdict against the National Register of Citizens and the new citizenship legislation, PTI reports. “So it appears that the people of at least one state have conclusively given their verdict that they do not want it [CAA and NRC],” he says.
5.45 pm: The National Conference passes a resolution condemning the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament, PTI reports.
5.26 pm: Nadda alleges that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee did not condemn the violence during protests against the new law, ANI reports.
5.20 pm: Muslims flourished in our country but Hindus were tortured in Pakistan, says Nadda at the Kolkata rally, PTI reports. “CAA does not violate Constitution, as claimed by a section of people.”
4.56 pm: The Trinamool Congress and other opposition parties are misguiding people on the Citizenship Act, Nadda claims, according to PTI. He adds: “Amended law grants citizenship, doesn’t take it away.”
The amendments to the Citizenship Act, which was passed in Parliament last week, adds a religious criteria to India’s citizenship laws. It singles out non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and says they can get on an expedited path to Indian citizenship even if they entered India illegally. Though the Act was described as a way to help persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries, it ignores entirely other communities such as Tamils in Sri Lanka and Rohingyas in Myanmar.
4.53 pm: BJP working president JP Nadda, at a rally in Kolkata, claims Bengal stands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and welcomes the amended Citizenship Act. “The people of Bengal are deshbhakts [patriots],” Nadda says, according to ANI.
4.50 pm: Congress leader P Chidambaram says all non-BJP parties must rally around his party to save the Indian Constitution. He also takes a dig at the BJP for its poor show in the Jharkhand Assembly elections.
4.45 pm: Congress leaders read the Constitution’s Preamble in Raj Ghat in Delhi, where a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is underway.
4.42 pm: The alleged mastermind responsible for the violence during Citizenship Act protests in Lucknow has been arrested, PTI reports. “We have got success in arresting mastermind of Lucknow violence,” Lucknow SSP Kalanidhi Naithani tells PTI. “Wasim, Nadeem and Ashfaq of PFI [Popular Front of India] have been arrested by the police. While Wasim is state head, Ashfaq is treasurer and Nadeem is a member of PFI.”
4.38 pm: Congress leader Sonia Gandhi also reaches Raj Ghat for the protests against the amended Citizenship Act.
4.25 pm: Congress leaders reach Raj Ghat for the protests against the new citizenship law.
3.56 pm: BJP working president JP Nadda, at the Kolkata rally, accuses Mamata Banerjee of “vote-bank politics”.
3.45 pm: Shops in and around Shivajinagar and Frazer Town in Bengaluru are closed due to a protest, ANI reports.
3.15 pm: Several organisations hold protests against the Citizenship Act in Bengaluru, ANI reports.
3.06 pm: A Delhi court dismisses the bail plea of 15 accused who were detained for the violence in Daryaganj locality of the city on Friday, ANI reports. They have been sent to judicial custody for 14 days.
2.57 pm: As many as 31 persons have been arrested and over 150 identified for their alleged role in the violence that broke out in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday, PTI reports.
2.55 pm: The curfew imposed since Friday in some parts of Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh has been lifted, though prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code will remain, Superintendent of Police Amit Singh tells PTI.
2.43 pm: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar arrives at Jadavpur University for convocation ceremony, students show him black flags and posters calling him a “BJP activist”, ANI reports.
2.38 pm: BJP working president JP Nadda begins his rally in Kolkata.
2.29 pm: The Calcutta High Court directs the West Bengal government to stop all government advertisements that say the state will not implement the National Register of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Act, ANI reports.
1.33 pm: Congress leaders in Lucknow meet jailed party workers arrested during protests against Citizenship Act, reports PTI. “She [Sadaf Zafar] was beaten brutally by the police,” Congress state President Ajay Kumar Lallu says. “She was hit on her back and her hair was pulled. We demand a high level judicial probe into the matter.”
1.25 pm: A court in Delhi will announce the verdict on the bail plea of 15 people detained in connection with last week’s clashes between protestors and police in Old Delhi’s Daryaganj, reports ANI.
1.19 pm: The All Assam Students’ Union has organised a sit-in protest at the Latasil grounds in Guwahati, reports The Indian Express.
1.13 pm: A protest march against the amendments to citizenship law will commence shortly in Kerala’s Kochi, according to The Indian Express. People will walk from JLN Stadium to Cochin Shipyard. Another march at 3 pm by actors, directors and other cultural artists is also scheduled from Rajendra Maidan to Fort Kochin.
1.10 pm: The Editors Guild of India criticises reports of police brutality against media persons covering the protests against the amended Citizenship Act in different parts of the country. The Guild highlights the incidents in Mangaluru and Uttar Pradesh, and urges the home ministry to provide adequate protection to journalists on the field. “The need of the hour is to ensure proper and responsible coverage,” it says in a statement.
1.06 pm: Congress criticises Prime Minister Narendra Modi for claiming his government never discussed the National Register of Citizens exercise and alleged that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to fool the country, reports PTI. “Welcome to the conversation PM Modi, the country has been waiting for you,” the party says. “It’s sad that the first time you’ve addressed the growing unrest in our nation you do so with hate and lies, but alas, what more can we expect from the Divider in Chief.”
12.58 pm: Students have been detained outside the Uttar Pradesh Bhawan in Delhi for protesting against police action during the demonstrations against the amended citizenship law, reports PTI. They were also demanding the resignation of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath.
12.50 pm: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati urges Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath to release “innocent protestors” after fair investigation. “As it is well known, the BSP is always against violent protests,” she adds. “The incidents of violence that took place across the country, particularly in Uttar Pradesh, in protest against CAA and NRC, is sad and unfortunate.”
12.42 pm: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut launches a veiled attack on former alliance partner BJP by quoting words of late American leader Martin Luther King. “The country where religious issues are addressed politically becomes great,” he tweets. “But one should know the country is being run by wrong people if its politics creates religious issues.”
12.35 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announces a Crime Investigation Department inquiry into the violence that erupted in Mangaluru during the anti-CAA protest that left two people dead in police firing, reports ANI.
12.31 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party Working President Jagat Prakash Nadda arrives in Kolkata to lead a march supporting the amendments to citizenship law, reports ANI. He will address a gathering at Dharmatala Rani Rashmoni Road from where the march will begin and culminate at Swami Vivekananda’s residence.
12.22 pm: A group of more than 50 people protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Finland’s southern Capital Helsinki. “India has a long and proud tradition of accepting and assimilating people of every identity without any bias,” they say in a statement. “This spirit of tolerance and acceptance of all ideas, philosophies, and identities is an integral part of Indian history, culture, and tradition. The newly passed Citizenship (Amendment) Act is blatantly discriminatory and seeks to grant or deny citizenship to refugees on the basis of their religious identity.”
12.15 pm: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra urges people to join the protest against the amended citizenship law in Delhi’s Raj Ghat at 3 pm. “This country is a collective bond, collective dream,” she says in a tweet. “We have nurtured this land with labour. We have to save the country from the politics of divide and rule. Let us join at 3 pm at Bapu’s memorial at Rajghat and be a part of Constitution recitation.”
12.02 pm: Indian students and professionals in Belgium protest against the amended Citizenship Act. They say this is against the democratic principles and the Constitution of India.
12 pm: Stalin questions why Muslims were not considered as refugees and why Sri Lanka was not categorised as a neighbouring country under the amended citizenship law.
11.55 am: “I bow my head for making the rally a success,” says DMK President MK Stalin, according to The Times of India. “We must not stop till the Centre withdraws the CAA and a massive protest against Centre will be announced after consultation of the alliance parties.”
11.45 am: Kerala minister EP Jayarajan says a joint strike against the amended citizenship law is inevitable, ANI reports. “We need to unite against the great calamity that the country faces,” he adds. “The country is facing protests over the passage of Parliament’s muscle power.”
11.22 am: “The Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens are against the Constitution,” DMK MP Kanimozhi tells NDTV. “They are against minorities, particularly Muslims. Lankan Tamils wanting to stay in India ought to be given citizenship opportunity.”
11.15 am: Students of the Pondicherry University will boycott their convocation to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, reports News18. President Ram Nath Kovind is scheduled to preside over the convocation.
11.08 am: The Bengaluru traffic police has cordoned off roads leading to the protest site and have put in place traffic diversions and alternative route arrangements, reports The News Minute.
11.05 am: The Muzaffarnagar district administration in Uttar Pradesh has constituted a special investigation cell to probe cases of violence during the clashes between police and anti-Citizenship Act protestors, say police. Superintendent of Police (Crime) RB Chaurasia said the special cell has started investigating 24 cases registered in connection with the violence on December 20, according to PTI.
10.58 am: The DMK-led rally will reach Rajarathinam stadium in Chennai in a while, reports The Indian Express.
10.55 am: Congress leader P Chidambaram and MDMK’s Vaiko along with other leaders are leading the protest march against amended citizenship law in Chennai.
10.49 am: DMK MP Kanimozhi says the Citizenship Amendment Act is a major step towards creating a Hindu nation. “If a law, which sanctions discrimination on the basis of religion is enacted and which provides a clause saying that a person cannot seek refuge in this country because of his religion, then, this law is against the fundamentals of the Constitution,” she tells The Hindu.
10.45 am: Retired Supreme Court judge Madan Lokur tells Hindustan Times that the definition of illegal immigrant in the amended citizenship law is unconstitutional.
10.36 am: Over 15,000 workers from several political parties are participating in the DMK-led march, according to The Times of India.
10.35 am: Security has been tightened in Chennai because of the DMK rally, reports ANI.
10.30 am: DMK and its alliance parties are holding a rally against the amended citizenship law in Chennai, reports ANI. Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief Vaiko are also participating in the protest.
10.10 am: The detention centre for illegal immigrants in Bengaluru gets its finishing touches, reports The Indian Express. Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared at an election rally in Delhi on Sunday that “there are no detention centres in India”.
10 am: Police have booked Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav for organising protests against the amended Citizenship Act, reports PTI.
9.45 am: Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan compares Prime Minister Narendra Modi with god for enabling citizenship to persecuted minorities from Pakistan, reports The Indian Express. “God gave you life, mother gave you birth but Narendra Modi ji, you gave them a new life, respect and dignity,” he says. “Narendra Modi, you are no lesser than god.”
9.33 am: “Dear students and youth of India, it’s not good enough just to feel Indian,” tweets Rahul Gandhi. “At times like these it’s critical to show that you’re Indian and won’t allow India to be destroyed by hatred. Join me today at 3 pm at Raj Ghat, to protest against the hate and violence unleashed on India by Modi-Shah.”
9.30 am: The Congress party will hold a protest against the amended citizenship law at Delhi’s Raj Ghat at 3 pm today. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi urges students to join him in the protests.
9.11 am: Authorities beef up security arrangements in Chennai as the DMK and its allies are set to hold a mega rally against amended Citizenship Act.
8.45 am: Film maker and rights activist Debalina Majumdar has been attacked by a group of men after a Kolkata rally against the amended citizenship law, reports The Hindu. “Following the rally we were having tea when we were attacked by a group of eight men, who were shouting Jai Sri Ram, they randomly started beating us with sticks,” she says.
8.36 am: The Madras High Court on Sunday evening heard a Public Interest Litigation against the DMK’s rally, reports The News Minute. The court did not place a stay on the rally and ordered the government and police to use drones in the city to videograph rallies that are being held without permission.
8.35 am: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s rally against the Citizenship Amendment Act is scheduled to take place later in the day.
8.11 am: “There is involvement of Popular Front of India,” he claims. “They have connection with SIMI. Six persons from Malda have been arrested.”
The Students Islamic Movement of India, or SIMI, is a banned terror outfit.
8.10 am: Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma alleges “outsiders’ roles” in the incidents of violence reported from various districts of the state during protests against the amended citizenship law, reports PTI.
8.08 am: “In most cases, autopsy reports suggest that the victims died in firing by protesters,” says Inspector-General (Law and Order) Praveen Kumar. He adds that detailed reports have been sought from the districts.
8.05 am: Fourteen of those killed during clashes between police and anti-Citizenship Act protestors in parts of Uttar Pradesh since Thursday succumbed to “firearm injuries”, reports The Indian Express.
8 am: The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation says it is closely following the recent developments “affecting” Muslims in India as it voiced concern over the Citizenship Amendment Act and the Supreme Court verdict in the Ayodhya case, reports PTI.
It “reaffirms the crucial importance of upholding the principles and obligations enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and relevant international covenants that guarantee the rights of minorities without any discrimination,” a statement from the 57-member grouping of Muslim majority nations says.
7.50 am: Here are the top updates from Sunday:
- At a rally in Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress and “urban Naxals” of spreading rumours and misleading people over the citizenship law. He also backed the police force, which has been accused of using excessive force against protestors. Twenty-four people have been killed during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Seventeen of the deaths have occurred in Uttar Pradesh, which has been rocked by protests over the past week.
- Several leaders of the Opposition responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that his government never spoke implementing the National Register of Citizens across the country.
- The Indian Medical Association expressed concerns over reports of police personnel allegedly entering hospitals in areas affected by violence during the Citizenship Act protests, and said that they should be declared as “safe zones”. The doctors’ group also described the police action as “unacceptable”, and said the medical facilities were sacrosanct.
- Around 60 shops in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district were sealed amid countrywide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.