Bhopal, Dec 20 (IANS) Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)and the proposed National Register for Citizens (NRC) took a violent turn in Madhya Pradesh on Friday forcing the authorities to clamp curfew in parts of Jabalpur city.
After the city’s Gohalpur and Hanumantal localities, subsequently parts of Kotwali and Adhartal police stations’ areas were also brought under curfew, Jabalpur District Collector Bharat Yadav said.
While widespread protests continued peacefully in many other towns of the state, the Congress decided to take a decisive stand against the recently-enacted law by the Centre and hit the streets on December 25.
Chief Minister Kamal Nath, who is also the state party chief, will lead the rally against NRC and CAA while the state government hardens its resolve against enforcing the laws.
Protesters pelted stones at police in Jabalpur. Some miscreants surrounded a policeman. As fellow personnel arrived to his rescue, the miscreants broke the glass panes of a police vehicle. Initial reports said many policemen were injured in the whole episode. The police maintained constant vigil in Rani Tal area, Ghamapur Chowk, Bhan Talaiya and Mandi Madar Tekri. In Gohalpur, more than 2000 people took to the road.
Major towns affected by Friday’s protests were state capital Bhopal, Jabalpur, Ujjain and Rajgarh. In Ujjain, thousands of people gathered peacefully to oppose the law. In Rajgarh also, as a precaution, the police carried out a flag march in the main areas. A large number of people protested at Murshid Baba Maidan in Damoh.
Mobile internet services were discontinued in parts of Bhopal. A crowd started gathering in Budhwara area after the Friday prayers. In a short time, the crowd swelled to nearly 10,000. The police had to deal firmly with the crowd as slogans were raised against the CAA and NRC. The Bhopal city Qazi had appealed for peace and asked the people not to take out rallies but the crowd did not pay heed and gathered near the Moti Masjid and continued shouting slogans.
The Collector, Municipal Commissioner and Muslim leaders arrived at the spot to counsel for peace.
Mobile service providers sent out messages saying mobile Internet service remain suspended till noon on Saturday in some parts of the city. However, most parts in the town remain unaffected by the suspension.
Police are on their toes since almost a week in the state due to growing protests against the CAA. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code are in force in 43 of 52 districts of the state till February 18.