Noted historian Ramchandra Guha, Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav and left leaders Sitaram Yechury and D Raja were among several people who were detained while protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Registers of Citizens (NRC) on Thursday. While Guha was detained at Townhall in Bengaluru, Yadav was taken into custody from Red Fort in Delhi. D Raja, Sitaram Yechury, Nilotpal Basu, Brinda Karat, were detained from Delhi’s Mandi House. Citizenship Act protests LIVE Updates
Expressing surprise at Guha’s detention, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa instructed police to exercise restraint against the agitators. “Where? (Guha arrested)…without reason police should not take law into their hands, I will immediately issue instructions,” a surprised Yediyurappa said on hearing about the detention of Guha.
Speaking to reporters here, he said, “Action should be taken against ‘goonda’ elements and those indulging in disturbing law and order, and no action should be taken against common people, if any such thing has happened action will be taken against officials.”
Guha termed his detention “absolutely undemocratic”, saying the police were not allowing even a peaceful protest. Bengaluru City police maintained that protesters have violated prohibitory orders.
Around 100 policemen and three Karnataka State Reserve Police vehicles are deployed in Townhall. Additional Commissioner of Police (East) confirmed the arrest of protesters to Indianexpress.com and said, “The protesters are taken to Adugodi police grounds from there we will tell them to disperse and the protesters will not be booked.”
Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav took to Twitter to confirm his detention. “I have just been detained from Lal Qila. About a thousand protesters already detained. Thousands on the way. Am told we are being taken to Bawana,” Yogendra Yadav tweeted.
“It is an honour to be detained on 19th of December, a small tribute to Ashfakulla Khan and Ramprasad Bismil. Happy to be in the company of Dr Dharamvir Gandhi, ex-MP, Patiala,” he said in another tweet.
It is an honour to be detained on 19th of December, a small tribute to Ashfakulla Khan and Ramprasad Bismil.
Happy to be in the company of Dr Dharamvir Gandhi, ex-MP, Patiala pic.twitter.com/odFCzMJQNf
— Yogendra Yadav (@_YogendraYadav) December 19, 2019
“I know many of our mates are being detained, despite that many have gathered here. The citizenship of this country cannot be divided and this is our protest call today,” Yadav said.
Later, he addressed a gathering over phone from detention, saying, “This law goes against the country’s foundational values, the Constitution and the spirit of the freedom struggle. It’s time to prepare for a long struggle. We must not cooperate if officials come to our doorstep as part of the NRC exercise. We should simply tell them that we have voter IDs.”
In Delhi, scores of protesters were detained near Red Fort when they tried to take out a march in defiance of the prohibitory orders imposed. Protesters including activists and students were dragged into buses in a bid to clear the area. Holding placards and shouting slogans, the protesters allowed themselves to be escorted to the buses.
The Communist Party of India too staged demonstrations in the city against the CAA and NRC. Multiple protests are underway across the country despite prohibitory orders imposed in several parts of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Bengaluru.
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