'Stop CAA, save India': Protests in Chandigarh

'Stop CAA, save India': Protests in Chandigarh

Protesters hold placards as they raise slogans during a demonstration against NRC and Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) outside Jama Masjid, in Chandigarh

Scores of people staged a protest in Chandigarh on Thursday against the controversial citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens.

One of the protests occurred near a mosque at Sector 20 on a call by various Muslim outfits, which was joined by some students and Sikh outfits.

Later in the evening, hundreds of students gathered at the city's main commercial complex here and staged a protest.

Earlier in the day, a student who was part of the protest in Sector 20, said it was also being held to express solidarity with the students of Jamia Millia Islamia and several other universities across the country.

The protesters raised slogans like "Hindustan zindabaad" and said Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians in this country are like brothers.

"Today, a conspiracy is being hatched to destroy the country's Constitution and spoil the peaceful atmosphere," another protester said.

Some agitators were also seen holding the Tricolour in their hands, while others held placards having messages like: "Stop CAA, Save India".

In the evening, students' bodies like the National Students Union of India (NSUI) and the Students for Society were also part of the protest march.

They claimed that the amended Citizenship Act would destroy the secular fabric of the nation and was against the constitutional framework.

"The BJP government is trying to divide the nation. We will not accept such black laws, which violate the Constitution," a student said.     

Some Muslim outfits also held a protest in Patiala, Punjab.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh condemned the "crackdown on peaceful protesters" in Delhi on Thursday.

Hundreds of students, activists and opposition leaders were detained when they defied prohibitory orders to protest against the new citizenship law as large parts of Delhi reeled under restrictions on mobile Internet services and traffic movement.

"No democracy can work by suppressing people's voice. I condemn the crackdown on peaceful CAA Protests in Delhi & other cities," Singh tweeted. "Preventive & penal measures should be used in proportion to threat to law & order. Are we living in a totalitarian State?"

At the same time, the chief minister appealed to the protesters to not resort to violence or destruction of property.

"While protests are a part of a democratic process, non-violence is the basic ethos of India. So let's fight against this unconstitutional Citizenship (Amendment) Act peacefully," Singh added.

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