Police baton charge anti-CAA protesters in Gujarat's Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad, Dec 19: Police on Thursday baton- charged some people who gathered in Sardar Baug area in Gujarat to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens
A police official said they dispersed the protesters to maintain law and order as those who had gathered were not given permission to hold the protest. The protest was organised by Left parties, including the CPI and CPI(M), and organisations associated with them.
Meanwhile, a bandh called by a minority rights group against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens evoked lukewarm response here on as routine life remained unaffected, police said.
At least 12 members of the National Students' Union of India (NSUI) were detained from outside a college for protests against the new citizenship law, Deputy Commissioner of Police Vijay Patel said.
Autorickshaws were plying in the city which largely remained unaffected by the bandh call, he said. While shops in Muslim-dominated areas of Juhapura, Jamalpur, Gomtipur and Teen Darwaja were shut since morning, the bandh call, given by 'Alp-Sankhyak Adhikar Manch', failed to evoke response in other areas as commercial establishments remained open there, police said. A cloth market in Dhalgarwad area of old city remained shut since morning.
A banner saying 'The cloth market will remain closed today against the draconian law of CAA and NRC' was put by traders on the main road leading to the market. However, no autorickshaw union associated with the Congress extended its support to the bandh call, Patel said. "The bandh call had no major impact.
Autorickshaws are also plying on roads. There was no incident of people being forced to close their shops. There may be some places where shops were shut voluntarily, but almost the entire city remained unaffected," he said. Patel said 12 members of the NSUI were detained from outside a college near Lal Darwaja area of old city for demonstrations against the new citizenship law and NRC.
Since some civil rights groups earlier also gave a call for 'Bharat Bandh' on Thursday, following which Gujarat Director General of Police Shivanand Jha asked the State Reserve Police to keep their armed personnel on 'stand-by' for any emergency need. Meanwhile, Shamshad Pathan, member of the group which gave the bandh call, claimed their protest received good response as several Muslim-dominated areas observed a total shut down. Though the bandh call was given only for Ahmedabad city, messages on social media appealed to people since Wednesday to observe a shutdown across Gujarat.
Some messages urging Muslims, specifically from cities including Vadodara and Godhra, to join the bandh went viral on social media since Wednesday. "A message calling for Vadodara bandh was circulated on Wednesday. However, it had no major impact in the city today.
All markets are open," Vadodara Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjay Kharat said. As a precautionary measure, the entire police force of Vadodara city was asked to keep a close watch in their respective areas and conduct patrolling, he added. In Godhra, shops and markets in Muslim-dominated areas, including near the railway station, remained shut. However, the bandh call had no impact in other parts of the state, the police control room said.