PROTESTS are taking place across the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act where people are coming in in huge numbers in all the towns braving BJP government’s brutal repression and targeting of activists. Almost everywhere protesters are being met with indiscriminate baton charge, water canons, and even bullets were fired in Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi. Large number of para military is deployed but citizens are coming out against the anti-Constitutional and divisive CAA and NRC designs of the ruling BJP. While Assam and the rest of North-East are facing shutdowns and curfews on daily basis, Delhi and Kolkata witnessed massive rallies and protests on multiple places. In Patna students’ protest was faced with brutal violence and repression by the police and in Chennai students in IIT came out in streets in opposition to CAA.
The Internet shutdown is becoming another tool of suppression by the BJP Gov as in most of Assam and many districts of West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh internet remained closed. Even Metro stations were closed in Delhi though nothing could stop the protesters and thousands still managed to reach to the Police Headquarters at ITO in the night of Dec 15 against the brutalities let loose in the Jamia campus by Delhi Police and RSS goons in civil cloths wearing police’s bullet proof vests illegally assisted the former in brutalising innocent students, just like storm troopers of Hitler’s days!
The protests continued in following days with more numbers. Thousands of citizens assembled at the India Gate on 16 December to take oath of defending the Constitution. Protests broke out in Seelampur-Jafrabad area of Delhi on 17 December which again faced a brutal lathi charge by police. The highway remained blocked for hours due to this protest.
In Kashmir despite being in a state of remained caged under the military boots the students of Islamia College Shrinagar came out in streets against CAA-NRC on 17 December. This protest met with a huge repression and even the journalists covering the incident were beaten up and their cameras and phones were snatched away by the paramilitary.
CPIML Condemns Repression on Protesting Students and Citizens
CPIML Delhi state committee has strongly condemned the attack on students and residents of Jamia Nagar, terming it a cruel act. Students had gathered at Jamia Milia Islamia to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the earlier police brutalities unleashed on protesting students. This was the second brutal attack by the Delhi police, and this time they crossed all limits of cruelty. The police attacked the students and residents with batons and tear gas shells. There are also reports of police firing. The police entered the library, toilets, mosques and other places in the campus and unleashed barbaric attacks on the students. The cruelty which has come to light today is a clear signal that Modi-Shah will crush any protest against the CAB, whether it is in Guwahati or in Jamia. The CPIML has demanded immediate withdrawal of the police force from the Jamia Milia campus and Jamia Nagar and immediate action against the police officers responsible for the brutal attack on students and residents.
CPIML Bihar State Secretary Kunal said on 14 December that the brutal police repression and lathi charge on students protesting against the CAB and NRC is highly condemnable. He said that Nitish Kumar stood fully in support of this anti-Constitutional and draconian Bill and now he is bent on crushing those protesting against it. He pointed out that earlier on 13 December a brutal lathi charge was also unleashed on students demanding an end to rape culture, injuring several women students. He said that the Nitish government has changed into Police Raj. The Bihar State Secretary said that voices against the Citizenship Amendment Act are being raised from all parts of the country. He appealed to the students of Bihar to make the Bihar Bandh on 19 December a resounding success so that pressure is put on the government to withdraw this illegal draconian Act.
The All India People's Forum (AIPF) strongly condemned the brutal assualt on Jamia Millia Islamia University students in Delhi saying that the shocking reports on the unprovoked use of force indicates the blatant violation of the right to protest.
CPIML, AIPF and many other organisations have demanded a judicial inquiry into the police atrocities in Jamia, immediate suspension of police officers who ordered the forceful entry into the campus, withdrawal of police from the University, and to ensure people's right to democratic protests.
Left Parties’ Call for Protests
Five left parties including CPIML, CPIM, CPI, AIFB and RSP have given of call for all India protests on 19 December. This day marks the martyrdom in 1927 of freedom fighters Ram Prasad Bismil, who rendered the stirring patriotic call rousing the Indian people in the freedom struggle with his song Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna, was hanged at the Gorakhpur jail, Ashfaqulla Khan, a co-accused, was hanged at the Faizabad jail and Roshan Singh was hanged at the Naini jail. They have said in a joint statement that the unity which overrode religious affiliations and won India its freedom from the British, is today, is being ruptured by the RSS-BJP. The passage of Citizenship Amendment and the extension of National Register of Citizens (NRC) to the entire country, is the twin combination to change the character of the Indian Republic – from a secular democratic one into an “Hindutva Rashtra”, the RSS political project.
A millitant torchlight procession was held against CAB-NRC-NPR at Konnagar of Hooghly where copies of CAA were burnt. In West Bengal five districts are facing an Internet shutdown. A huge gathering of people in Kadapa town of Andhra Pradesh protested terming NRC as anti-poor and CAA as anti-Constitution. In Siliguri Revolutionary Youth Association and AISA held out a rally. A protest was held in Kakinada of AP opposing NRC and CAA. A huge rally was held in Dehradun of Uttarakhand which pledged to save the syncretic and pluralistic polity and culture of India from the communal CAA-NRC conspiracy. In Garhwal University, Shrinagar, AISA organized a protest march. Massive protests were organized in Jaipur and Udaipur in Rajasthan.
Protests were held in all the towns of Bihar and UP, which are likely to be continued in the coming days across the country.
Jansamvad in Patna against Attack on Citizenship
Earlier, a Jansamvad (people’s dialogue) was organized by Insaf Manch against NRC and CAB on 8 December in Patna which was attended by common citizens and intellectuals. The Jansamvad was addressed by eminent educationist Mohd Ghalib, Sarur Ahmed, DM Diwakar, Arshad Ajmal, BB Pandey, Javed Ahmed, Naseem Ansari, Dr Aleem Akhtar, Mushtaq Rahat and Asma Khatoon. Present at the Jansamvad were CPIML leader KD Yadav, Prof Arvind Kumar, Murtaza Ali, Afshan Zabeen, Anita Sinha, Samta Rai, Jitendra Kumar and many others.
The speakers at the Jansamvad said that we must strongly oppose the CAB which is an attack not only on minorities but also on the poor. It is being brought as part of an economic agenda and will affect the working class most. The speakers pointed out that keeping silent is a dangerous thing in a democracy and it is our responsibility and duty to ask questions and speak truth to power. NRC and CAB are an attack on the idea of India and our Constitution.