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'Are we a quasi-dictatorship': Ram Guha protests citizenship law, detained

Protests were held in Hubballi, Kalaburagi, Hassan, Mysuru and Ballary cities of Karnataka as Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa called for peace.

Agencies  |  New Delhi/ Bengaluru 

Ramchandra Guha
Historian Ramchandra Guha | Screengrab

Historian was detained by the police in Bengaluru on Thursday when tried to protest against the new citizenship law, as government authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions across India and shut down internet services in parts of the Delhi.

“Our paranoid rulers in Delhi are scared. Our Home Minister would not dare allow a peaceful protest,” Guha said after he was detained.

“Everyone should stand up, the entrepreneurs of Bangalore should stand up. Do they want this image to go around, that we are a quasi-dictatorship? We are here to assert our democratic rights,” he was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson and managing director of Biocon, expressed her protest after a video on social media showed policemen taking away Guha forcibly.

"This is shocking n reflects the total lack of understanding of fundamental freedom to express dissent - a peaceful protest shd not be mishandled in this manner," she said on Twitter.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Guha’s arrest showed the government was trying to scare off protests.

"This government is scared of students. This government is scared of one of India's most accomplished historians for speaking to the media on #CAB #NRC and holding a poster of GandhiJi. I condemn the detention of Ram Guha. We extend our full solidarity to all those detained," she tweeted.

Protests were held in Hubballi, Kalaburagi, Hassan, Mysuru and Ballary cities of Karnataka as Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa called for peace and said the Citizenship Amendment Act was not against Muslims, reported news agency PTI.

The Chief Minister on Wednesday had declared that his government will "hundred per cent" implement the CAA BJP-ruled State.

"We have not given permission for any agitation in favour or against the law, and section 144 (prohibitory orders) is in place." "... no one should organise any programmes in this regard and every one should maintain peace...police are monitoring things," he said, referring a law which bans assembly of people.

First Published: Thu, December 19 2019. 14:30 IST