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Anti-CAA stir turn violent in UP, Protesters torch govt bus in Lucknow, Sambhal; Internet suspended

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Lucknow, Dec 19: The protest in Uttar Pradesh's Sambal against the amendments to the Citizenship Act turned violent on Thursday as protesters set state transport buses on fire.

A public bus was set ablaze and another damaged as protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act turned violent in Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal district. Superintendent of Police Yamuna Prasad said one state roadways bus was set on fire in Chaudhary Sarai area of the district on Thursday afternoon while another was damaged.

Anti-CAA stir turn violent in UP, Protesters torch govt bus on fire, another damaged in Sambhal

Fire tenders have been rushed to the spot. This is the first incident on attack on state-run buses in the state in the wake of violent protests against CAA.

CAA Protests: Section 144 in place; Protesters detained near Red Fort

CrPC section 144 prohibiting unlawful assembly is in force in the state and no permission for any gathering has been given for December 19, Uttar Pradesh police chief O P Singh had said.

Internet services were suspended in Uttar Pradesh's Sambhal on Thursday after a public bus was set ablaze and another damaged as protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act turned violent, District Magistrate Avinash K Singh said. Some of the protesters also pelted stones at a police station, he said.

"The internet services have been suspended as a precautionary measure to prevent rumour-mongering," the DM added. One state roadways bus was set on fire in Chaudhary Sarai area of the district on Thursday afternoon while another was damaged, Superintendent of Police Yamuna Prasad said. Fire tenders were rushed to the spot.

This is the first incident on attack on state-run buses in the state in the wake of violent protests against the CAA. Section 144 of the CrPC prohibiting unlawful assembly is in force in the state and no permission for any gathering has been given for December 19, Uttar Pradesh Police Chief O P Singh had said.

Meanwhile, the opposition Samajwadi Party and Congress legislators held protest at the state legislative assembly complex on Thursday against the amended Citizenship Act.

The SP MLAs gathered at the Assembly building in the morning ahead of the sitting of the state legislature, despite tight security arrangements, and raised slogans against the contentious legislation.

Congress lawmakers too held similar protest around the same time, but away from the SP legislators. The Samajwadi Party leaders assembled near the statue of Chaudhary Charan Singh before staging the protest and raised slogans, while Congress MLAs sat separately near the stair case close by. An SP MLA even climbed the main gate of the Vidhan Bhawan to voice his indignation against the amended law.

Some Congress legislators came out on the road in front of the highly secured Assembly complex, but later went inside the premises when police disallowed them. Later, when the Assembly met for the day, Samajwadi Party lawmakers tried to raise the issue of police "high-handedness" in disallowing them to exercise their democratic right to protest against the new citizenship law and created uproar on other issues too, including law and order. Samajwadi Party leaders had on Tuesday staged protest outside the Uttar Pradesh Assembly over various issues including Citizenship (Amendment) Act, law and order situation and crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh.

Targeting the BJP-led government over matters of unemployment, inflation, and problems faced by farmers in the state, the SP leaders held a sit-in protest on Tuesday, the opening day of the winter session of the state legislature.

Earlier on Wednesday, in view of violence during demonstrations in different parts of the country against the amended citizenship law, the state police said no permission has been given for protests as prohibitory orders are in place in the entire state.

"Section 144 (prohibiting unlawful assembly) of CrPC is in force and no permission for any gathering has been given for December 19. Please do not participate.

Parents are also requested to counsel their children," DGP OP Singh had said in a tweet in the wake of the SP and some other organisations announcing that they will protest against the Act on Thursday.

The contentious Act seeks to grant Indian citizenship to refugees belonging to Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Parsi communities facing persecution on the basis of religion in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, and who entered India on or before December 31, 2014. From the time the Bill has received presidential assent and became an Act, there have been violent protests opposing it in several parts of the country.

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