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Massive protests break out across India against controversial citizenship law, NRC

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Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Huge demonstrations were taken out in several Indian cities after the controversial citizenship bill (CAB) was passed in the upper house of the parliament.

People came out on the streets in major cities and state capitals in the country apart from students who held demonstrations in the campuses. 

In the national capital, Delhi, the students of Jamia Millia Islamia staged protest but were cane-charged. Tear gas shells were lobbed and policemen hit the the protesting students with canes. Dozens of students were hurt and sustained multiple injuries.

In Hyderabad, people came out on streets and marched against the bill that has been termed discriminatory and 'otherises' Muslims. On the streets of Bangalore, Kolkata and several other major cities too, people came out with placards in their hands and raised slogans against the act.

Also, in other cities like Aligarh, Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Gaya, Murshidabad, Katihar and Deoband there were protests as well. In AMU, students were up in arms against the bill and the internet services were shut down on Thursday late night.

Big protests also took place in Pune (Maharashtra), Raichur (Karnataka), Kollam, Goa, Calicut, (Kerala) Prakasam (Andhra), Bhadrak (Odisha), Patna, Araria (Bihar), Solapur (Maharashtra), Azamgarh, Gaya, Chennai, Gulbarga and several other cities. There were several protests in Bhopal, the capital of central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. 

In a huge public meeting, legislator Arif Masood said that he would resign from assembly if the law is implemented in Madhya Pradesh. At the historic Iqbal Maidan, there were protests by activists, citizens and people representing different communities against what they termed as the 'black law'. 

Already, the North Eastern states are in flames and are witnessing violence over the the act. Two people have lost their lives in Assam. Chief ministers in several states have said that they would not implement it in their states. Under the act, all communities from certain neighbouring countries would be eligible for Indian citizenship, except Muslims. 

It is being seen as a step before the proposed NRC that had wreaked havoc in Assam earlier. Home Minister Amit Shah has indicated that there would be a fresh NRC all over India including Assam. However, some states in the North East, have been kept out from the citizenship act.

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Journalist for more than 20 years. Had started his career with National Mail in the nineties. Worked as Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, as an Assistant Editor with DB Post, later Contributing Editor with The Huffington Post, writes for First Post, The Wire, Newsd & several other major publications.