Anti-Citizenship Act stir: SP, Cong MLAs protest in UP

Anti-Citizenship Act stir: SP, Cong MLAs protest in UP

Lucknow: Samajwadi Party leaders protest against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Vidhan Sabha premises, in Lucknow, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. (PTI Photo/ Nand Kumar)

The opposition Samajwadi Party and Congress legislators held a protest at the legislative assembly complex here on Thursday against the amended Citizenship Act, even as prohibitory orders remained imposed across Uttar Pradesh.

The SP MLAs gathered at the Assembly building in the morning ahead of the sitting of the state legislature, despite tight security arrangements, and raised slogans against the contentious legislation.

Congress lawmakers too held a similar protest around the same time, but away from the SP legislators.

The Samajwadi Party leaders assembled near the statue of Chaudhary Charan Singh before staging the protest and raised slogans, while Congress MLAs sat separately near the staircase close by.

An SP MLA even climbed the main gate of the Vidhan Bhawan to voice his indignation against the amended law.

Some Congress legislators came out on the road in front of the highly secured Assembly complex but later went inside the premises when police disallowed them.

Later, when the Assembly met for the day, Samajwadi Party lawmakers tried to raise the issue of police "high-handedness" in disallowing them to exercise their democratic right to protest against the new citizenship law and created uproar on other issues too, including law and order.

Samajwadi Party leaders had on Tuesday staged a protest outside the Uttar Pradesh Assembly over various issues including Citizenship (Amendment) Act, law and order situation and crimes against women in Uttar Pradesh.

Targeting the BJP-led government over matters of unemployment, inflation, and problems faced by farmers in the state, the SP leaders held a sit-in protest on Tuesday, the opening day of the winter session of the state legislature.

In view of violence during demonstrations in different parts of the country against the amended citizenship law, the state police on Wednesday said no permission has been given for protests as prohibitory orders are in place in the entire state.

"Section 144 (prohibiting unlawful assembly) of CrPC is in force and no permission for any gathering has been given for December 19. Please do not participate. Parents are also requested to counsel their children," DGP OP Singh had said in a tweet in the wake of the SP and some other organisations announcing that they will protest against the Act on Thursday.

The contentious Act seeks to grant Indian citizenship to refugees belonging to Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Parsi communities facing persecution on the basis of religion in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, and who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

From the time the Bill has received presidential assent and became an Act, there have been violent protests opposing it in several parts of the country. 

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