CPI-ML New Democracy

Police Attacks Protesters in UP and Delhi

Protests against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) intsnified today in several parts of the country. A big protest meeting was held which started from Jama Masjid in Delhi. Bhim Army leader Chandrashekhar also was part of this Rally. This March was to culminate in an assembly at India Gate. Several other Marches were also to culminate at India Gate in the evening. Delhi police which is under the control of RSS-BJP’s Central Govt. blocked the roads in old Delhi area and blocked Delhi Gate not permitting any one to cross either way. A large number of people have gathered for the protest.

Police blockage of the Rally continued for over three hours. When the people started dispersing, a car was ‘msyteriously’ set on fire outside the police station and taking that excuse police unleashed lathicharge and severly beat up the protesters. A large number of people sustained serious injuries and several of them were taken to hospital. Some videos of the brutal beatings and policemen pelting stones did the rounds.

From the evening a large number of lawyers started gathering outside Daryaganj police station where the detained persons were kept. People learnt that a good number of minors were kept in the lock-up and that some of them were injured. Among those gathered included PMS lawyers including PMS Delhi General Secretary Poonam Kaushik. Police did not give any information about the detained persons for hours and no police person was willing to talk to lawyers. Doctors belonging to Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum (PMSF) also reached Daryaganj Police Station. After several hours, at nearly 11 Pm, doctors could see and examined the injured. However, lawyers persisted for nearly 10 hours. Ultimately police released the children and told about the persons detained.

In the evening, a large number people assembled at India Gate to protest against CAA-NRC and police atrocities against the protesters.

Yesterday was a day of massive protests throughout UP. Large protests are reported from almost all the cities and towns in UP. Large assemblies took place in Gorakhpur, Allahabad, Firozabad, Meerut, Bhadoi, Bulandshahar, Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar and other major cities. Police fired at the protesters in several cities and town. 11 persons were reported killed in the police firing and scores were critically injured. Several of them were taken to hospitals and are battling for life.

The common refrain was that police resorted to firing as people were insisting on taking out rallies and were refusing to disperse. UP Govt. has imposed Section 144 throughout UP since passage of CAA. There was no report of any violence by the protesters. All the firing is done by the police. Though like in Delhi, initially UP police denied having fired any where but later gave the excuse of demonstrators refusing to disperse. Police fired to kill as the demonstrators received gun shots above the waist. Police firing on protesters who are only asking for their right to protest, has scaled new heights of impunity. Govt. has banned all the protests. It is becoming a battle between the Govt. and people on the very right to protest.

UP Govt. is trying to convert these massive protests into a law and order issue. Police is lathicharging protesters. Policemen are seen throwing stones at protesters and bursting tear gas shells. Activists are being arrested at several centres. Rihai Manch leaders have been arrested in Lucknow. AIKSCC member and ex-IPS officer Darapuri was also arrested.

False cases are being framed against activists and protesters.

Protests were reported from other states as well. In Punjab, PSU organized protests at several centres. Yesterday, protest was organized by AIKMS in Odisha. Large protests were held in West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh.

Kerala Govt. announced suspension of the work on NPR in the state. West Bengal Govt. had announced similar suspension of NPR related work some time back.

These protests also saw growing realization of the people that higher judiciary can not protect their Constitutional rights. Every where people are coming are coming forward and raising the slogans to save the Constitution. Delhi High Court even refused to entertain the request for an enquiry despite several videos showing policemen pouring liquid into buses, firing, pelting stones and lathi charging peaceful protesters. High Court also refused to stay coercive action against student activists whom police has implicated in false criminal cases. High Court bench’s handling upset some young lawyers who shouted “Shame, Shame” in an unprecedented act.

Supreme Court also held hearing on a buncvh of petitions challenging Citizenship Amendment Act. The apex Court refused to stay the operation of the Act.

There are several reports of RSS fielding its cadres to attack protesters at several places. At places RSS activists are acting along with police in BJP ruled states. Today RSS organized a demonstration by refugees from Pakistan in favour of CAA. This is totally sponsored act as protesters are not opposing granting of citizenship to these refugees but against the exclusion of Muslims and targeting of them by RSS-BJP Govt.

CPI(ML)-New Democracy had called for protests against CAA-NRC from December 17 to December 24 and had extended support to the protests by the people.

December 20, 2019