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Citizenship Amendment Bill protests highlights: Protesters vandalise railway stations, block roads in Bengal

Citizenship Amendment Bill CAB 2019 Protests in Assam, Tripura, Guwahati, Northeast Today highlights: West Bengal witnessed were in throes of violence, with protesters setting ablaze Beldanga railway station in Murshidabad district and thrashing RPF personnel.

By: Express Web Desk | Agartala, Guwahati, New Delhi | Updated: December 15, 2019 7:45:45 am
cab, cab news, cab protest, cab protest in assam, cab bill news, cab today news, citizenship amendment bill, citizenship amendment bill 2019, citizenship amendment bill protest, citizenship amendment bill protest today, citizenship amendment bill 2019 india, citizenship amendment bill live news, cab news, cab latest news, assam internet ban news, assam, assam news, assam latest news, assam today news, meghalaya news, meghalaya protests, meghalaya cab protests Protesters set Beldanga station complex in Bengal’s Murshidabad to fire. (Express photo)

Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019 Protests Today highlights: Even as protests over the amended Citizenship Act showed signs of abating in Assam and elsewhere in the northeast, the agitation reached the shores of West Bengal on Friday, with protesters vandalising public property and clashing with the police.

While curfew was relaxed in Assam’s Dibrugarh and Meghalaya capital Shillong, parts of West Bengal were in throes of violence, with protesters setting ablaze Beldanga railway station in Murshidabad district and thrashing RPF personnel, news agency PTI reported. Similar incidents of violence were reported from Uluberia and Diamond Harbour as agitators blocked railway tracks and vandalised stations, PTI reported.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah cancelled his visit to two Northeastern states  — Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh — which was scheduled on Sunday and Monday, news agency PTI reported quoting officials.

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Citizenship Amendment Bill protests today highlights: An indefinite curfew is in place in Assam; protests spill over to Meghalaya and more. Get latest news and updates here.

Highlights

    00:49 (IST)14 Dec 2019
    US Embassy issues travel alert for citizens in North East India

    After the UK, US Embassy and Consulates in India have also issued a travel alert for US citizens in northeastern states of India, reports ANI.

    22:41 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    UK issues advisory against travelling to Manipur

    The United Kingdom as issued an advsiory against travelling to north-eastern state of Manipur in the wake of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed in the Parliament. "The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the state of Manipur, except the state capital Imphal and the Meiti Valley areas, which include Loktak Lake, Keibul Lamjao National Park and the Imphal War Cemetery. See Local travel and Terrorism," The advisory read.

    "Demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) are taking place in some parts of the country. There have been reports of violent protest in North East India, especially in Assam and Tripura. An indefinite curfew has been imposed in Guwahati (Assam) and mobile internet services have been suspended in 10 districts of Assam. Transport may be affected in various parts of the region. You should exercise caution if you’re planning to travel in North East India, monitor local media for the latest information, follow instructions of the local authorities and allow more time for travel," it added.

    22:31 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Guwahati under curfew for third day; residents stock up on essential items

    As Guwahati witnessed the third day of curfew in light of the prevailing unrest because of the Citizenship Bill protests, early Friday morning saw residents come out on to the street to stock up on essential items such as medicine and food. While most shops remained shut, pharmacies remained open till late afternoon. Autos and rickshaws were plying in most parts of the city. Read more...

    22:17 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Protests against CAB and NRC in Mumbai

    Protests against CAB and NRC in Mumbai.

    22:03 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    CAB protesters arrested in Mumbai, released later

    A peaceful protest at the Marine Drive was blocked by the police and the protesters were taken to Marine Drive Police Station.The protesters who were arrested include former IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan, Feroze Mithiborwala (Bharat Bachao Andolan), Fahad Ahmed (TISS), Amol Madame (Akhil Bharatiya Parivar), Com. Nasirul Haq (All India Tanzeem I Insaaf), M A Khalid (All India Milli Council), Faisal Khan (Activist), Kalhan Raina (Activist), Amlan Mishra (Law Student), Mrugam Sanghvi, Rahul Yadav.

    21:22 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Those not wanting 'divisive democracy' shall go to North Korea: Meghalaya Governor

    The Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy on Friday stoked controversy by asking those who do not want "divisive democracy" to go to North Korea. A democracy is NECESSARILY DIVISIVE. If you do not want it go to North Korea," Roy tweeted during the day. The Governor was apparently backing the new Citizenship Act.

    21:05 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Guwahati: No reports of violence; heavy security across city

    Guwahati roads wore a deserted look on Friday evening (7 pm).  No violence or vandalism reported. However, the city still had heavy security deployed across it, curfew still on. Internet services too remained suspended.

    20:28 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Train movement affected due to agitation over CAB in Bengal

    In Uluberia and Diamond Harbour, both minority-dominated areas of Bengal, agitators blocked railway tracks and vandalised stations, leaving several passengers stranded during the day. The affected trains included the 12841 Howrah-Chennai Coromandel Express, 22897 Howrah-Digha Kandari Express and suburban locals. The demonstrators, numbering around 250, obstructed the Up and Down lines at Uluberia station and hurled stones at the stranded trains, injuring a driver, South Eastern Railway spokesman Sanjoy Ghosh said.

    20:03 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Parliament panel postpones Assam visit due to protest over amended citizenship law

    In view of widespread protests in Assam over the amended citizenship law, the parliamentary panel on home affairs has postponed its field visit to the state.
    The visit of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs was slated from Dec 18 to 21, but it has been postponed in view of curfew and law and order situation in parts of the state.
    The panel chairman and the members were to visit Shillong in Meghalaya and Assam's Guwahati. (PTI)

    19:50 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Assam, NE to face fuel supply problems if citizenship agitation continues

    Assam and other North-Eastern states may face fuel supply issues if the agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act continues for another week, as it has already led to the shutdown of refineries and oil-producing facilities in the region.
    Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has been forced to shut down its Digboi refinery in Assam and is operating Guwahati unit at minimal throughput, while Oil India Ltd has been forced to shut LPG production and its crude oil production has dropped by 15-20 per cent, multiple sources at the state-owned companies said. (PTI)

    19:28 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Citizenship Act stir: Protesters vandalise railway stations, block roads in Bengal

    Protests over the amended Citizenship Act erupted in West Bengal too, with agitators resorting to violence and arson at railway stations across the state, seeking immediate revocation of the law. According to police sources, people in the minority-dominated districts of rural Howrah, Murshidabad, Birbhum, parts of Burdwan and North Bengal hit the streets in the morning, raising slogans against the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre. (PTI)

    19:10 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    AMU students, teachers hold protests on campus against amended citizenship law

    Hundreds of Aligarh Muslim University students and teachers organised separate protest marches on Friday and handed over two memorandums to authorities, demanding immediate withdrawal of the amendments made to the Citizenship Act. The district administration has blocked internet services in Aligarh district since midnight in view of the protests planned against the amended Citizenship Act and to ensure peace and order. (PTI)

    18:30 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Students boycott exams, hit streets in Arunachal to protest against amended Citizenship Act

    Protests against the amended Citizenship Act continued to rage across northeast, with students' unions in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday boycotting their examination to hit the streets across cities, seeking immediate revocation of the law. Thousands of agitators, led by Rajiv Gandhi University Students' Union (RGUSU) and Students' Union of NERIST (SUN), marched from the varsity to Raj Bhavan, covering a distance of around 30 km on the hilly terrain. (PTI)

    18:13 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Strong action against those involved in violence: Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal

    Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday blamed opposition Congress and 'communal forces' for the widespread violence in the state over the last two days, saying strong action will be taken against those involved in arson and vandalism during the anti-citizenship bill protests. onowal also said the violence was part of a political conspiracy against the BJP-led government in Assam and asserted that he was committed to protecting the rights of the indigenous people of the state.
    'The Congress and some communal forces are behind the violence. Even some ultra Left have joined the mob. It is a political conspiracy,' he told PTI. (PTI)

    17:48 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    AASU vows to continue 'non-violent mass movement' against Citizenship Act

    he influential All Assam Students' Union (AASU), which is spearheading the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, on Friday accused Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal of "surrendering before the Delhi leadership" and vowed to continue a "non-violent mass movement" against the contentious legislation.
    Chief Adviser of AASU Samujjal Kumar Bhattachaya also claimed that President Ram Nath Kovind has "violated the Constitution" by giving assent to the "communal bill", which was passed by the Parliament on Wednesday.
    "Our stand is clear. We will not accept, never accept the new law. The MPs have voted in favour of the bill but people of Assam have rejected it through a mass movement," he told PTI. (PTI)

    17:39 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Centre, state should make their stand clear on Chakma-Hajong refugees: AAPSU

    The All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union (AAPSU) on Friday demanded that the Centre and the state government should make their stand clear on the Chakma-Hajong refugees, who are likely to get citizenship status after passing of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in both houses of the Parliament. The apex students' body of the state has been spearheading the refugee issue for the past several decades.
    'We want a clear-cut answer from New Delhi whether the Chakma-Hajongs will remain as refugees or as citizens. If they (refugees) are given the citizenship status where will they be settled?' AAPSU president Hawa Bagang asked during a press conference in Itanagar. (PTI)

    17:34 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Entry, exit gates at all stations opened: DMRC

    Entry and exit gates at all stations have been opened. Normal services have resumed in all stations.

    17:33 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    'States have no powers to refuse implementation of Citizenship Act'

    State governments have no powers to reject the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 as the legislation was enacted under the Union List of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution, a top official said on Friday.
    The statement came after chief ministers of West Bengal, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh announced that the law is "unconstitutional" and has no place in their respective states.
    "The states have no powers to deny implementation of a central law which is in the Union List," the top official from the Home Ministry said. (PTI)

    17:30 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    AASU has filed petition challenging amended Citizenship Act: Samujjal Bhattacharya

    All Assam Students Union(AASU) has on Friday filed a petition in Supreme Court challenging the amended Citizenship Act, its chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said. Bhattacharya, who was addressing a meeting here amidst the indefinite curfew, hit out at the BJP top leadership for 'betraying' the people of Assam. (PTI)

    17:07 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Patel Chowk and Janpath metro gates closed

    Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has closed entry and exit gates of Patel Chowk and Janpath metro stations. "As advised by Delhi Police, entry & exit at Patel Chowk and Janpath have been closed. Trains will not be halting at these stations," DMRC said on twitter.

    16:55 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Explained: How the citizenship law differs from the Bill that LS cleared in January

    Under the new citizenship law, illegal migrants belonging to these six religions from the three specified countries shall be deemed to be citizens of India from the date of their entry into India, and all legal proceedings against them in respect of their illegal migration or citizenship will be closed when they acquire citizenship. Read more...

    16:37 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    CAB protest: Bengal's Beldanga railway station complex was set on fire

    Beldanga railway station complex in West Bengal's Murshidabad district was set on fire on Friday by people protesting against amended Citizenship Act, said RPF officials. 

    15:53 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Police detain protesters trying to jump barriers

    The area near the university has turned battleground with the police detaining those jumping the barriers. Some have even resorted to stone-pelting and the police are using tear gas to disperse the mob.

    15:50 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Protest route near Jamia blocked: Police

    Route of protest by the Jamia Millia Islamia University students has been blocked by heavy police barricades near the campus, said the police

    15:37 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Jamia Millia Islamia students protest against Citizenship Bill

    The students of Jamia Millia Islamia University protested against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill taht was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

    15:04 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Long queues at Guwahati markets as locals rush to stock up essentials

    Goods flew off shelves as locals rushed to stock up essential items after shops and markets in Guwahati opened Friday morning amid reports that curfew has been relaxed, which were later dismissed by the authorities.
    Long queues were seen outside shops at the Uzan Bazar, Chandmari, Silpukhuri and Zoo Road areas with people coming out in their cars and two-wheelers after some local channels reported that the prohibitory orders have been relaxed from 6 am to 1 pm. (PTI)

    14:39 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    After Bangla ministers cancel India visit, Japan PM Abe’s summit deferred

    India and Japan on Friday mutually decided to defer the annual summit talks which were slated to take place in Guwahati from December 15-17, the Ministry of External Affairs said. The announcement comes in the wake of widespread protests in the Assam capital and elsewhere in the northeastern state in the last two days against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Taking to Twitter, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “With reference to the proposed visit of Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to India, both sides have decided to defer the visit to a mutually convenient date in the near future.”

    14:26 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Amended Citizenship Act attempt to change narrative by design: Kamal Nath

    Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath accused the government of practising a "politics of distractions" and said the amended Citizenship Act was an attempt to change narrative by "design", PTI reported. Addressing the Indian Women's Press Club, Nath said he was most worried about the future of the Indian youth given the present economic condition of the country. "The worst part is the politics of distraction, changing the orbit of people's imagination. Every time there is economic slowdown, a bill is introduced, a decision is taken to distract people," the Madhya Pradesh chief minister said.

    14:23 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    BJP can't bulldoze states to implement amended Citizenship Act: Mamata Banerjee

    Lashing out at the BJP-led central government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she would not allow its implementation in the state "under any circumstances", PTI reported. Banerjee, who is also the TMC supremo, said the saffron party can't bulldoze the states to implement the law. "We will never allow NRC exercise and Citizenship Act in Bengal. We will not implement the amended Act, even though it has been passed in Parliament. The BJP can't just bulldoze the states to implement it," Banerjee said.

    13:54 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Exempt entire northeast from purview of Amended Citizenship Act: NPP leader to PM Modi

    National Peoples Party (NPP) leader Agatha K Sangma has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to exempt the entire North East from the purview of the Amended Citizenship Act to ensure that peace returns to the region, PTI reported. The Tura MP had written a letter to the Prime Minister on Thursday night demanding that the entire North East be exempted from the purview of the Act. 'The North East is a complex region that needs a holistic protection, the government must revisit the CAB and exempt the entire region from its purview. This is the only way peace and confidence can be built among our people,' Agatha said.

    13:45 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Strong action to be taken against those involved in violence: Assam CM Sonowal

    Talking tough, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today warned of taking strong action against those involved in arson and violence, saying vandalism has no place in any democratic process. Sonowal also asserted that he was committed to protect the rights of the indigenous people of the state and urged parents of students to persuade them not to join any agitation which turns violent. "We will not tolerate any violence. Strong action will be taken against anyone who is involved in vandalism," he told PTI.

    13:25 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Curfew imposed in parts of Shillong relaxed for 12 hours, officials say situation peaceful

    The curfew imposed in parts of Shillong following violent protests was relaxed on Friday for 12 hours, beginning 10 am, with no untoward incident being reported from the areas, officials said, PTI reported. The curfew was imposed on Thursday night in areas under Sadar and Lumdiengjri police station limits, which comprise at least 20 neighbourhoods of North Shillong and Mawprem. "The curfew has been relaxed from 10 am to 10 pm in the areas under Sadar and Lumdiengjri police station limits," East Khasi Hills district deputy commissioner M W Nongbri said. Mobile internet and messaging services, however, remained suspended.

    13:19 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Citizenship Act protests: Over 100 arrested in Salem

    Over100 people arrested in Salem during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

    13:01 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Some elements creating violence in northeast: Kiren Rijiju

    Speaking to ANI on the protests in northeast, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju told ANI, "Some elements may try to create violence but the northeastern people are peace-loving. Protests are taking place but there are ways and means of protesting. Some have tried to take advantage of the situation." 

    12:25 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    DMK workers protest against Citizenship Act in Chennai, arrested

    Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) cadres, led by youth wing leader Udhayanidhi Stalin, today held a protest against the Citizenship Act in Saidapet in Chennai. During the protests, Udhayanidhi tore a of the Bill amid cheers from party members.  He, along with a few others, were later arrested by the Chennai City Police. On Thursday, party chief Stalin had announced that the opposition will be holding a state-wide protest on December 17 to condemn the ruling party's support to the 'anti-Tamil, anti-minority government at the Centre'.

    12:20 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    Karnataka: Amid protests against Citizenship Act, Section 144 imposed in Kalaburagi

    Amid protests against the Citizenship Act, Section 144 has been imposed till 6 pm in Kalaburagi city of Karnataka. The restriction, however, is not applicable to locations where Friday prayers will be held and the district collector's office, Kalaburagi DCP Dekka Kishore Babu told indianexpress.com.

    12:01 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    After Mamata, Pinarayi Vijayan and Amarinder Singh hit out: No CAB in Kerala, Punjab

    After West Bengal, Kerala and Punjab have emerged at the forefront of a pushback by Opposition governments against the Citizenship Amendment Act with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan saying that “an anti-Constitutional law will have no place” in his state. “The Supreme Court had made it clear on several occasions that the basic structure of the Constitution cannot be undermined. So, it is clear that this law will not stand legal scrutiny. When that is evident, there are heinous political aims behind passing anti-Constitutional laws using the arrogance of power…Kerala will not implement it. Discrimination based on religion will not be allowed,” he said. Describing CAB as a direct assault on India’s secular character, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said, his government will not let the legislation be implemented in Punjab. “We have a majority in the Assembly, and will block the Bill. We will not let it rip apart the secular fabric of the country, whose strength lies in its diversity,” he said.

    11:45 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    DMK protests in Chennai against Citizenship Act

    In Chennai, the DMK is also staging a protest against the Citizenship Act. 

    11:31 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    New citizenship law not to impact Goans with Portuguese passport: Official

    The amended Citizenship Act will not impact the rights of Goans holding Portuguese passport, the State NRI Commission clarified on Friday. The clarification came after the opposition Congress sought to know the fate of Goans holding Portuguese passport following Parliament's approval to the contentious Bill. NRI commissioner Narendra Sawaikar asked the Congress to stop playing "divisive politics" on the issue. "How and why will CAB bill divide India? It will not affect the rights of Goan passport holders before or after the CAB Bill," Sawaikar tweeted reacting to Congress statements.

    11:21 (IST)13 Dec 2019
    TMC MP Mahua Moitra moves SC against Citizenship Amendment Act

    After the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on Friday moved the Supreme Court challenging the validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act. A Bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde refused early hearing for today and asked Moitra’s lawyer to mention the matter before the mentioning officer.

    cab, cab news, cab protest, cab protest in assam, cab bill news, cab today news, citizenship amendment bill, citizenship amendment bill 2019, citizenship amendment bill protest, citizenship amendment bill protest today, citizenship amendment bill 2019 india, citizenship amendment bill live news, cab news, cab latest news, assam internet ban news, assam, assam news, assam latest news, assam today news, meghalaya today news Police resort to baton charge to disperse protesters who became violent during their march against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in Guwahati. (PTI Photo)

    Late on Thursday, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Bill even as violent protests continued to rock the state. Two people were killed and over 20 injured in alleged police firing. The law will grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jains and Parsis who entered the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan until December 31, 2014. It leaves out Muslims. The protests also spilt over to neighbouring Meghalaya after vehicles were vandalised and set ablaze in Police Bazaar and Iew Duh areas, resulting in the imposition of curfew in all neighbourhoods that include areas under Sadar PS and Lumdiengjri PS. Mobile internet and messaging services were suspended for 48 hours from 5 pm on Thursday.

    On Thursday, Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal issued separate appeals for peace. Sonowal requested protesters to not take the path of violence and asked leaders of the agitation to engage in dialogue with him. But in Dibrugarh’s Chabua, the home town of Sonowal, officials said protesters vandalised the Circle office and the railway station. With protesters also targeting another station in Panitola, the Centre suspended rail services in Assam and Tripura, halted long-distance trains to the region in Guwahati, and deployed 12 companies of the Railway Protection Special Force.

    Also read | Citizenship Amendment Bill: As protests flare, murmurs in government over ‘error of judgement’

    Caught unaware Wednesday as the protests escalated sharply, the state government Thursday shunted out top police officers, including the Additional Director General (Law and Order) and Guwahati Police Commissioner.

    Also read | Bangladesh ministers cancel visit to India

    Sources said police in Jorhat have arrested Akhil Gogoi, who heads the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), which is one of the organisations involved in the protests.

    However, speaking to The Indian Express, a top police officer in the state said the situation on the ground continued to be “grim”. Another senior officer said the “situation is under control but clashes are happening all over the state”.

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