WB Citizenship Act stir: Intellectuals appeal for calm

Last Updated 17 December 2019, 12:15 IST

Following violent protests in several areas of the state over the amended Citizenship Act, intellectuals of West Bengal on Friday appealed to the people to maintain peace and not to take law into their own hands.

Protests over the Act reached the shores of West Bengal on Friday, with agitators resorting to violence and arson at railway stations and thoroughfares across the state, seeking immediate revocation of the law.

Theatre activist Rudraprasad Sengupta and Kaushik Sen, and authors Sirshendu Mukhopadhayay and Abul Bashar appealed for peace.

"Except the BJP, all the political parties have opposed the CAB in Bengal. So we would request you all to conduct protests in a peaceful and democratic manner. No one should take law into their hands," Sen said.

Echoing Sen, writer Sirshendu Mukhopadhaya, said protests should be conducted in a peaceful manner as violence cannot diffuse the situation.

"I would like to appeal to everybody to maintain peace so that there are no loss of lives or chaos," Bashar said.

Police sources said people in minority-dominated districts of rural Howrah, Murshidabad, Birbhum, parts of Burdwan and North Bengal hit the streets raising slogans against the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre.

In Kolkata, hundreds of protesters gathered at the Park Circus seven-point crossing, seeking the revocation of the law. They shouted slogans against the BJP-led government and burnt tyres on the thoroughfare, leading to traffic congestions in the southern and the central parts of the city.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appealed to the people to maintain calm and urged the protesters to refrain from taking law into their own hands.

Similar pleas were also made by Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who requested people not to violate law and order.

President Ram Nath Kovind had on Thursday given his assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, turning it into an Act.

According to the amended Act, non-Muslim refugees, who escaped religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and moved to India before December 31, 2014, will be granted Indian citizenship.

(Published 13 December 2019, 22:35 IST)

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