CAA row: Security forces on high alert across states

CAA row: Security forces on high alert across states

Police personnel stop a commuter as temporary barricades are set up during restrictions in view of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act after Friday prayers, at Jamia Nagar, in New Delhi. (PTI photo)

Security forces were put on high alert on Friday in various parts of the country including in Kerala and Karanataka where protesters disrupted road and rail traffic after last night's death of two persons in police firing during protests against the amended citizenship law, while mobile internet and SMS services were shut down in UP which had also seen violent clashes.

After a day of simultaneous anti-CAA protests in multiple cities, various groups have announced plans to continue their agitation including in the national capital while officials said additional security arrangements have been made in view of the Friday prayers.

Prohibitory orders were imposed in 12 police station areas of Northeast Delhi and police also carried out a flag march in the district which had witnessed violence during protests against the amended citizenship law three days ago, officials said.

The police also used drones to keep a tab on the law and order situation in the area, while Delhi Metro gates for some stations in the Old Delhi area were closed.

Joint Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar and Deputy Commissioner of Police Ved Prakash Surya were among senior officers who were present during the flag march.

In the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, mobile internet and SMS services of all telecom operators remained suspended in Lucknow and various other places on orders from the government.

A 25-year-old man was killed during violence in Lucknow, while protesters pelted stones at police and torched vehicles.

In Kerala also, police has also been directed to maintain high vigil in northern districts in the wake of the killing of two persons in police firing in Mangaluru in neighbouring Karnataka during protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

In a Thursday night alert, state DGP D Loknath Behera instructed the force to be on high alert especially in the districts of Wayanad, Kozhikode, Kasaragod and Kannur, an official statement said.

A series of protest marches by different outfits and blocking of trains and buses were reported in various parts of Kerala past midnight after the news emerged about the deaths.

Anti-CAA protesters also blocked Karnataka RTC buses in some parts of Kozhikode and raised slogans against the Mangaluru police action.

A large number of Congress workers blocked roads and burnt tires in Kozhikode, while other activists blocked roads and burnt the effigy of Home Minister Amit Shah.

The Kerala Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has suspended bus services to Mangaluru.

State Transport Minister, A K Saseendran told reporters here that the service would be resumed only after the situation there comes under control.

Police sources said protesters defying prohibitory orders attempted to lay siege to the Mangalore North police station and tried to attack police personnel, following which force was used to disperse them.

Two persons received bullet injuries in police firing, and they later succumbed at a hospital, Karnataka police had said.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa appealed to people to stay away from 'vested interests' indulging in rumour mongering and assured his government's commitment to protect the rights of all citizens.

The Karnataka government had on Thursday night also ordered the suspension of mobile internet data services for the next 48 hours in Mangaluru City and Dakshina Kannada district.

However, mobile internet service resumed in Assam, ten days after it was banned during protests against the new law.

The Gauhati High Court had directed the Assam government to restore mobile internet service by 5 pm on Thursday.

In the national capital, Delhi Police denied permission to Bhim Army to take out a protest march from Jama Masjid to Jantar Mantar against the new law.

The march was expected to see participation of students from Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Millia Islamia.

Prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144 are in place near the Red Fort area since Thursday, prohibiting assembly of four or more people.

Thousands of students, activists and opposition leaders had hit the streets in the national capital on Thursday, defying heavy security clampdown and prohibitory orders even as authorities suspended mobile internet services and restricted traffic movement to quell the swirling agitation.

In Aligarh, a red alert was sounded and the city has been put under a heavy security cover in view of the first Friday prayers since the police crackdown on the students of Aligarh Muslim University protesting the new law earlier this week.

Internet services remained suspended for the fifth consecutive day while banking services and businesses have been badly hit.

The city has been witnessing continued demonstrations for the past few days, with the situation turning violent on Sunday when hundreds of AMU students protesting the amended Citizenship Act clashed with the police at a campus gate, leaving 60 injured.

Teachers from AMU took out a protest march on Thursday while shopkeepers in some areas of the city briefly downed shutters in support.

The situation in West Bengal was largely peaceful with no fresh incident of violence, but vigil has been stepped up by the police in several parts of the state to prevent any untoward incident during religious gathering for Friday prayers. 

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