New Delhi: Country-wide protests on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) gained momentum on Thursday as various groups protested in Delhi, Bengaluru, Patna, Kolkata, Hyderabad and many other cities and towns across the country.
Meanwhile the authorities have prepared for the protests by deploying police force in large numbers and imposing section 144 in several places. Barricades have been set up on roads leading to protest zones.
Delhi's historic Red Fort is the venue of one of the major protests. Protestors have been gathering at the venue despite section 144 being imposed in the region. The police have been bundling away the protestors onto waiting buses. Women were also seen moving towards the protest venues. Protest marches are scheduled in other parts of the city too. The Delhi Metro has shut down services in several stations as a precautionary measure.
In Karnataka, several groups and citizens have been gathering to protest at different locations in the capital Bengaluru to protest. Noted historian Ramachandra Guha was spotted among the prominent citizens protesting in Bengaluru. Section 144 has been imposed in Bengaluru and some parts of Karnataka since Thursday morning and will stay in place till the midnight of 21 December.
In Bihar, the bandh call has affected normal life in different parts of Bihar. Roads were blocked in Hajipur, Purnea and Arrah districts of the state. Traffic movement has been restricted on account of the blockades set up by protestors in different locations of the state.
Train services have also been affected in several locations of Bihar.
Meanwhile, in Karnataka, where the BJP is heading the government, section 144 has been enforced in Bengaluru and some other parts of the state, from Thursday 6:00 a.m till midnight of 21 December. The move has been made in view of the protests planned by many political and other activist groups, against the CAA and NRC. The police have decided to deny permission for any kind of protests in the state.
Reports are coming in of protests at Chennai, Hyderabad and Lucknow. In most of the places, prohibitory orders have been put in place but protestors are gathering only to be taken into preventive custody and being bundled onto waiting vehicles.
The last few days have seen protests gaining traction across the country over the controversial CAA which provides for granting Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities in neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.