At least six people have died in violence across Uttar Pradesh as thousands took to the streets protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Internet services continue to be blocked in several parts of the country and Section 144 -- a law that bans gatherings of four or more people, effectively making protests illegal -- was imposed in cities across the UP and Karnataka.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, in a statement on Friday evening, called the new citizenship law "discriminatory" and accused the BJP-led central government using "brute force to suppress dissent". She assured the people that her party "is fully committed to stand up and defend their fundamental rights and uphold the foundational values of our constitution."
Protesters in Old Delhi carrying Indian flags and "Save the Constitution" banners and marching from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar in the centre of the city were stopped at Delhi Gate. Delhi Police put up barricades to block the protesters but as the crowd grew larger, and a vehicle was set on fire outside a police station, police resorted to using water cannons and baton-charges to control the situation.
Earlier in the day, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad led a massive protest against the controversial law at Jama Masjid and called for a protest march to Jantar Mantar. At least 11 protestors were injured and taken to a government hospital nearby.
Delhi Metro has shut 17 station in response to the violence, including the busy Rajiv Chowk, Pragati Maidan and Khan Market stations.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act for the first time makes religion the test of citizenship in India. The government says it will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they fled to India because of religious persecution. Critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.
Here are the Highlights on developments on Citizenship Amendment Act:
"The Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC are against the poor. If someone has to dig up old documents, if your grandmother has show, will they be able to? What are they (BJP government) putting the country through. They want the country to stand in line like during demonetisation"
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi arrived at India Gate on Friday evening to thousands of people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The road leading to Jama Masjid was littered with footwear and stones as police chased away the protesters from the area.
At least 11 people have been injured in clashes between the police and protesters at Delhi Gate, all of whom have been taken to a government hospital nearby.
"The Citizenship Amendment Act is discriminatory and the proposed nationwide NRC will particularly hurt the poor and vulnerable. Like at the time of notebandhi (notes ban), they will have to stand in line to prove their and their ancestor's citizenship. People's apprehensions are real and legitimate"
"There have been spontaneous protests in the universities, the IITs, IIMs and other leading academic institutions throughout the country against the divisive agenda and anti-people policies of the BJP government"
"Entry and exit gates of Mandi House and Janpath are closed. Interchange facility is available at Mandi House," the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation or DMRC said in a tweet.
Earlier, the DMRC had closed the entry and exit gates of Rajiv Chowk, Pragati Maidan and Khan Market station. Interchange facility was available at Rajiv Chowk
Johri Enclave, Shiv Vihar and Dilshad Garden stations were also closed
"Of the 285 stations, Chawri Bazar, Lal Quila, Jama Masjid & Delhi Gate on violet line, Jaffrabad & Maujpur-Babarpur on pink line and Jamia Millia Islamia on magenta line are closed as per instructions of security agencies. Rest of the metro network is operating as per schedule," the DMRC had tweeted
Police used water cannons to disperse the large crowd protesting against the new citizenship law as well as to douse the fire started by the protesters.
Fresh protests broken out across at least seven Uttar Pradesh districts after Friday prayers this afternoon as thousands defied state-wide prohibitory orders and took to the streets to fight the new citizenship law
A team of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) inspects the library of Jamia Millia Islamia where the police entered recently during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest.
Headed by IPS Manzil Saini, the seven-member team also inquired about the police action on the protesters during the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act on December 15, 2019.
Anyone born in India before 1987 or whose parents were born before 1987 are bona fide Indian citizens according to law and need not worry due to the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) or a possible nationwide NRC, a top government official was quoted as saying news agency PTI.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the BJP will have to go if it doesn't take back Citizenship Amended Act and drop plans to implement nation-wide NRC.
"Goans who are in Portugal or those holding Portuguese passports would not be affected by the CAA," said Chief Minister Pramod Sawant adding that some elements were trying to misguide people claiming that the Portuguese passport holders will be in trouble because of the new citizenship law
"Of the 285 stations, Chawri Bazar, Lal Quila, Jama Masjid & Delhi Gate on violet line, Jaffrabad & Maujpur-Babarpur on pink line and Jamia Millia Islamia on magenta line are closed as per instructions of security agencies. Rest of the metro network is operating as per schedule," the DMRC tweeted.
Internet services were suspended in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr district from 3 pm on Friday, as thousands defied state-wide prohibitory orders and took to the streets to protests against the new citizenship law
State govt led by @BSYBJP is trying to make Karnataka as another Kashmir. All the rights enshrined in the Constitution is curtailed.- Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) December 20, 2019
Our party leaders, who had gone to see the situation, have been detained in Mangaluru airport. I condemn this act to silence us.#RevokeSec144
Nitish Kumar today indicated that he will not implement the National Register for Citizens (NRC) in Bihar, adding to the troubles of ally BJP as it faces massive nationwide protests against the citizenship law and NRC. "Kahe ka NRC (What NRC)?" - the response to a journalist's question finally revealed the Bihar Chief Minister's view on the subject
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appears to have rolled back on her statement seeking a United Nations-monitored referendum on the government's new citizenship law, a hugely controversial issue that has led to protests across the country
Karnataka Police detained some Kerala-based journalists early on Friday in front of a government hospital in Mangaluru where the post-mortem of the two people who died during protests was underway.
Security Update- Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (@OfficialDMRC) December 20, 2019
Entry & exit gates of Delhi Gate are closed. Trains will not be halting at this station.
"BJP can say whatever it wants. I am proud of my country. I will not be insulted by a party born in 1980. I have full faith in my country and it's people. I want an opinion poll on CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) and NRC (National Register of Citizens)"
Three universities have been shut following anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest by students. Colleges in Tamil Nadu will now reopen only on January 2. The state government ordered 4 extra days of holiday citing rural local body polls.
Entry and exit gates of Chawri Bazar, Lal Quila and Jama Masjid are closed. Trains will not be halting at this station, says Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in a tweet
Security Update- Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (@OfficialDMRC) December 20, 2019
Entry & exit gates of Jamia Millia Islamia and Jasola Vihar Shaheen Bagh are closed. Trains will not be halting at these stations.
All other stations are open and services are normal.