Anti-CAA stir: 104 held, thousands booked

More than 100 people have been arrested and over 12,000 booked in three districts of Marathwada in connection with violence during protests against the amended Citizenship Act in the central Maharashtra region last week, officials said on Monday.

The anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests on Friday were marred by stone pelting and damage to public and private property in the districts of Parbhani, Hingoli and Beed.

More than 12,200 cases have been registered against agitators in these three districts, where 104 people have been arrested till now, they said.

Most of the cases, nearly 12,000, have been registered in Parbhani district, the officials said.

"So far, 47 people have been arrested from areas under three police stations in Parbhani. The search is still on for more stone pelters," Assistant Superintendent of Police (Parbhani city) Nitin Bagate told PTI.

Stone pelting was reported from the Parbhani city after a rally was organised to protest against the CAA, which has been passed by Parliament and approved by the President.

"The stone pelters damaged government property and also attacked policemen last week, leaving some of them injured.

"We have registered cases of rioting against all those who joined the march. The investigation is still on and people are coming forward to register cases against pelters who damaged their property," Bagate said.

The process to file cases and arrest protesters was still on in Beed district.

"The police have filed cases against 80-100 people in Beed. So far, we have arrested 32 people and offences such as attempt to murder, damaging public property and rioting, among others, are being registered against protesters," said Harsh Poddar, Beed Superintendent of Police.

In Hingoli, an anti-CAA protest on Friday turned violent and stone pelting was reported from the Kalmnuri area of the district.

Damage to public property and injury to policemen were reported during the agitation.

"We have registered offences against 100-120 people and arrested 25 people till Sunday evening," said Yogesh Kumar, Hingoli Superintendent of Police.

The new law promises Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Its passage in Parliament has triggered massive protests across the country.

CAA's critics say the legislation is discriminatory in nature and violates the core values of the Constitution.

However, the BJP has accused opposition leaders of misleading people over the law and spreading rumours about it.

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