Anti-CAA Protests: Tension Grips Parts Of UP; Internet Services Suspended In Aligarh, Meerut, Varanasi
The spark of protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has ignited unrest in various parts of Uttar Pradesh. Internet services have been shut down in six districts including Aligarh, Meerut, Saharanpur and Varanasi. While students in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) clashed with the police late on Sunday night, students of the Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, an Islamic seminary, were also out on the roads after midnight in support of the students in the Jamia Milia and AMU.
However, timely action and deployment of a strong police force made the students beat a retreat. Internet services in the state capital were shut down for a few hours. In Varanasi, students in the Banaras Hindu University also staged protest march on the campus, late on Sunday night. Meanwhile, students of the Aligarh Muslim University have been asked to vacate their hostel rooms at the earliest as the AMU has been closed till January 5.
The clashes between the AMU students and the police on Sunday night have left more than 30 students and ten policemen injured. Hundreds of AMU students protesting against the amended Citizenship Act had clashed with police on Sunday night at the campus gate to express ‘solidarity’ with their counterparts in Jamia Milia University. Aligarh Muslim University Registrar Abdul Hamid said the police entered the campus late Sunday night and clashes were reported from inside.
“Hostels are now being evacuated. The university is closed from today. This is being done due to disturbances created by some anti-social elements for the last three days,” he said on Monday morning. All other offices of the AMU, however, will remain open as usual and the closure of the university is for the purpose of reading and examination only. The remaining examinations will be conducted after January 5 and the revised schedule for the same would be notified later.
AMU Proctor Afifullah Khan said some security personnel were injured in brick-batting near the gate. Aligarh District Magistrate Chandra Bhushan Singh said: “Internet services have been suspended from 10 p.m. on Sunday for the next 24 hours, in view of the protests by the AMU students.”
The AMU students had started gathering at the Babey Sir Syed Gate and shouted slogans against the law and police action on the demonstrators in Delhi. The AMU students broke the police cordon and fought pitched battles with the police. Police have sealed all entry points to the campus.
Meanwhile, a student of the Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday, said that protests would now be held in a more planned manner across the state. “On Sunday night, it was a reaction to what happened in Delhi, but we will now coordinate with other student groups and launch a major protest on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). We will not accept this lying down,” he said.
Meanwhile, a senior police official said that all intelligence agencies had been put on alert and such violent protests would not be allowed to take place.