- Historian Ramchandra Guha was dragged by the police
- He was participating in protest at Town Hall in Bengaluru
- "Police working under directions from central government," he said
Historian Ramachandra Guha was dragged by the police mid-interview as he was detained along with dozens in Bengaluru today during a protest against the Citizenship law. The 61-year-old was participating in a protest at the Town Hall in the city where Section 144 or a ban on large gatherings was enforced last evening ahead of today's protests.
"I have been detained by police for holding a poster of Gandhi and speaking about the constitution to the press," Ramachandra Guha told NDTV.
"The police are working under directions from central government. We are protesting non-violently against a discriminatory act, in a disciplined way. Look here, everyone is protesting peacefully. Have you seen any violence?"
Even before he could finish the sentence, Mr Guha was pulled away bodily by a group of policemen while talking to NDTV and shoved into a bus that was driving off with detained protesters.
Later, Bengaluru police chief Bhaskar Rao appealed to people of the city to not "mar daily life" in "an international destination where people had come from parts of the country and world to study and do economic activities".
Ram Guha retorted: "Dear Police Commissioner, your Government's decision has brought disgrace to this 'international destination'. This was to be a peaceful protest by citizens who wish to uphold the values of our Constitution. You have used a colonial-era law to suppress us and our voices."
Protests were planned in many parts of the country today against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which makes it easier for non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to become citizens of India. Protesters say the law discriminates against Muslims and is a violation of the constitution.
Around 30 protesters demonstrating with flags and placards were detained and hauled into buses by policemen in riot gear. A senior police officer was also seen taking away the flags from protestors.
The decision to impose Section 144 based on violence elsewhere in the country was questioned. Congress's Rajeev Gowda has filed a Public Interest Litigation against the move.
Defending the decision to impose restrictions in Bengaluru, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa blamed the Congress. "The Congress is behind protests against CAA. Taking care of Muslims is our responsibility. Request all to maintain peace. If Congress leaders continue to support protests then they'll face consequences," he said.