Violent protest against CAA, 21 injured in Delhi

Violent protest against CAA, 21 injured in Delhi
Brick-bats lie on a road as anti-CAA protestors clash with police at Seelampur in New Delhi, Tuesday. (PTI)
NEW DELHI, DEC 17 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 12/17/2019 11:31:43 AM IST

 Govt firm on CAA; Oppn petitions President of India

Protests against the amended citizenship law continued at several places across the country on Tuesday. Violent clashes broke out in the national capital as students, opposition leaders and activists across the country stepped up their protests against the amended citizenship law, even as the government asserted it is “firm like rock” on its implementation and the Supreme Court refused plea for an inquiry panel to probe the violence.
Angry protesters demanding scrapping of the amended Citizenship Act pelted stones at police personnel, torched several motor bikes and vandalised two police booths as well as three buses in Northeast Delhi’s Seelampur on Tuesday, leaving 21 people injured in fresh violence in the city.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused “Congress and its friends” of spreading lies over the new law and asked students to try and see whether they were not being made accomplices in a “conspiracy” where “urban naxals” and others were using their “shoulders to fire” to serve their own interests.
Even as several opposition parties demanded withdrawal of what they called an “unconstitutional and divisive” law, Home Minister Amit Shah said there was no question of going back on its implementation and expressed confidence about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act standing legal scrutiny. “We are firm like rock on its implementation,” he said in Mumbai.
Shah also said action being taken only against those engaging in vandalism and arson during protests and not against students opposing CAA. He also directed Delhi Police to ensure peace in the national capital.
Oppn parties seek President’s intervention: Opposition leaders today knocked on the doors of President Ram Nath Kovind, seeking his intervention in repealing the “unconstitutional and divisive” citizenship amendment law and forming a commission of inquiry to probe violent protests and the police action. 
A delegation of leaders of a dozen opposition parties, led by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, submitted a memorandum to the president appealing to him to “advise” the government to withdraw the legislation and “safeguard our Constitution from being violated”.
Talking to reporters later, Gandhi alleged the Modi government was “shutting down” people’s voices and bringing legislations which are not acceptable to them. “...(we) met the President to plead with him to intervene in the situation in the North East, which is now spreading throughout the country...because of the act. It is a very serious situation. We fear that it may spread even further...,” she said.
Protests in states: Fresh protests took place on Tuesday in Kerala, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Maharashtra, West Bengal and several other parts of the country as well.
Road and rail blockades continued in parts of West Bengal Tuesday, though no major incidents of violence were reported, even as rallies were taken out to protest against the citizenship law.
Protesters also blocked roads and set tyres on fire in Tehatta and Dhubalia areas of the Nadia district. In South 24 Parganas, protesters blocked roads and railway tracks in Diamond Harbour. Railway officials said all trains from northeast and north Bengal to Kolkata have been cancelled owing to the protests.
In Gujarat, protesters gathered outside the Sabarmati Ashram with anti-CAA placards. In Kerala, stones were hurled at state transport buses, shops were forcibly closed and protest marches were held in support of a dawn-to-dusk hartal, while over 200 people were taken into preventive custody.
In Tamil Nadu, DMK president M K Stalin called the new law “hasty and autocratic” and alleged the BJP-led Centre’s objective was not India’s progress but trampling the rights of Muslims.

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