On December 11, 2019, the Rajya Sabha passed the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, which seeks to fast-track citizenship for select persecuted minority groups in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Though, passed with as many as 125 MPs voting in favour of it, the Act however, failed to convince large sections of India's population, especially those hailing from Assam.
A nationwide protest and clashes with cops, among others are some of the repercussions of passing such a contentious citizenship bill. The protestors are beaten up hard and halted with ruthless firing of bullets, tear gas and water cannons. The political parties, as usual, are busy blaming each other for the unrest. In a rally in Jharkhand, the Prime Minister said, “People who are setting fire (to property) can be seen on TV... They can be identified by the clothes they are wearing.”
Speaking of the very recent incident, protesters torched four public buses and two police vehicles on Sunday as they clashed with police in south Delhi’s New Friends’ Colony. The incident took place near Jamia Millia Islamia university during a demonstration against the amended Citizenship Act, leaving six cops and two firemen injured, officials said.
The trouble started during a protest by students of Jamia university. But a students’ body later said they had nothing to do with the violence and arson and alleged that “certain elements” had joined in and “disrupted” the demonstration. Soon after the violence, Jamia Millia Islamia Chief Proctor Waseem Ahmed Khan claimed that the Delhi Police entered the campus forcibly without any permission and beat up staff members and students who were forced to leave the campus.
Condemning the police action, university vice chancellor Najma Akhtar said students who were inside the library have been taken out and are safe.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said any kind of violence is unacceptable and protests should remain peaceful. Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said that all schools in southeast Delhi would remain closed on Monday.
Meanwhile, scores had gathered outside the old Delhi Police Headquarters to protest the force’s handling of the situation after the agitation near Jamia university on Sunday turned violent. The protesters raised anti-police slogans outside the headquarters in ITO area, after a call for it was given by the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union. Other students' bodies endorsed the protest call.
Clashes also erupted at Aligarh Muslim University on Sunday evening where students were agitating against the violent crackdown in the national capital. In disturbing visuals, cops were seen smashing bikes on streets in Aligarh, firing tear gas shells from the main gate of the campus amid protests at the university.
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