Will Modi govt bow down to state allies on Citizenship Act?
New Delhi, Dec 16: Violent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act has spread to several parts of India, even as Assam remained tense but relatively peaceful after two days of arson and vandalism.
Students of the Jamia Millia University were baton-charged by the Delhi Police during a march, from their university in South Delhi.
Following the crackdown, protests erupted on the campuses across the country. There were violent scenes witnessed at the Aligarh Muslim University on Sunday night following a clash between the cops and the students.
There were demonstrations held at the Banaras Hindu University, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad and the Jadavpur University in Kolkata as well.
Assam has turned into a battleground after four died in the police firing, though curfew imposed in parts of the state was relaxed on Sunday.
In West Bengal, sporadic protests erupted, internet services in five districts have been suspended for the next 48 hours.
In the first indication of dissent, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), an ally of the ruling BJP said that it would file a petition in the Supreme Court praying for revocation of the amended Citizenship Act.
The strangled ally maintains that the Act violates the 1985 Assam Accord, according to which, only those refugees who had entered Assam prior to March 25, 1971, could live in the state the rest, whether they were Hindus, Muslims or any other religion, had to be expelled.
Meghalaya's Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has raised concerns over CAB and how it's causing "problems" in various states.
Home minister Amit Shah has assured that the government is open to making "some changes" in the CAA - the first indication that the Modi government might bend on the issue that has flared up passions across the country.
It's not just parties from the North East, BJP's long-time ally the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has warned the government that it should not forget that India is a secular country and must consider adding Muslims to the communities that would be given citizenship.
JD(U), which earlier backed the bill has now said that the party is against the bill.
JD(U) national spokesperson K C Tyagi confirmed that the party has "officially" decided to "say no to NRC".
The new act provides citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who faced religious persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan and arrived in India before December 31, 2014.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill became law after receiving the President's assent earlier this week following a debate in the Parliament.
More than a dozen petitions challenging the legality of Act have already been filed in the apex court. The petitioners include Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, two NGOs, Uttar Pradesh's Peace Party, among others.
The top court is likely to hear the petitions on December 18.