Protests against amended Citizenship Act continue in West Bengal; CM Mamata Banerjee leads mega rally

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Kolkata | Published: December 16, 2019 2:20:51 PM

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who has been at the forefront in opposing National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship Act, hit the streets of Kolkata in the afternoon against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, ignoring Governor Jagdeep Dhankar's remark that it would be "unconstitutional and inflammatory".

mamata banerjee on nrc, mamata banerjee on nrc, mamata banerjee news, mamata banerjee rally today, mamata banerjee rally kolkata, mamata banerjee rally bengalTrain services in Tamluk-Haldia section of South Eastern Railway were disrupted for three hours due to a blockade at Basulyasutahata station from 6.10 am. (IE)

Protests over the amended Citizenship Act continued unabated in West Bengal for the fourth consecutive day on Monday, with incidents of road and rail blockades reported from various parts of the state, officials said. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who has been at the forefront in opposing National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship Act, hit the streets of Kolkata in the afternoon against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, ignoring Governor Jagdeep Dhankar’s remark that it would be “unconstitutional and inflammatory”.

Banerjee took to the streets along with thousands of partymen, and vowed not to allow the proposed country-wide NRC and the amended Citizenship Act in the state. The TMC supremo began the protest march from Red Road in heart of the city, and it is set to culminate at Jorasakho Thakur Bari, the residence of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in north Kolkata, around 4 km away. In the districts, agitators have blocked thoroughfares in East Midnapore, Murshidabad, Malda, Nadia and North 24 Parganas, inconveniencing hundreds of commuters, they said.

In Malda district, protestors have assembled outside Shamsi Railway station. Several express and local trains have been cancelled or delayed due to the ongoing protests. A spokesperson of the railways said demonstrators have blocked the tracks in Sealdah-Diamond Harbour and Sealdah-Namkhana sectors. Efforts were being made to disperse the mob, he added.

Train services in Tamluk-Haldia section of South Eastern Railway were disrupted for three hours due to a blockade at Basulyasutahata station from 6.10 am. Owing to the agitation, Haldia-Howrah EMU local was detained while Howrah-Haldia EMU local was short terminated at Panskura. Train services in Howrah-Amta section were disrupted for about four hours leading to the cancellation of some EMU locals.

Meanwhile, students of Jadavpur University expressed solidarity with their counterparts of Jamia Millia University and condemned police action on students. The students took out a protest rally outside the university campus condemning the police action and denouncing the amended Citizenship Act. Internet services continued to remain suspended in six districts of Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, Murshidabad, Howrah, North 24 Parganas and parts of South 24 Parganas.

On Sunday night, the officer-in-charge of Uluberia police station, along with a few other police personnel, sustained injuries after they were attacked by agitators. The injured were admitted to a nearby hospital, district officials said. Incidents of violence, loot and arson were also reported from Nadia and Birbhum districts.

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