West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday called for a 'mega rally' to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Kolkata. Taking to Twitter, Banerjee said that the CAA and NRC are unconstitutional and people must protest against it in a peaceful manner.
A mega rally will be held today in #Kolkata to protest against unconstitutional #CABBill & #NRC. It will begin at 1pm near the statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar on Red Road & end at Jorasanko Thakurbari.(1/2)— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) December 16, 2019
Come, let us all, every section of society, join this people’s movement in a peaceful manner within the ambit of law.(2/2)— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) December 16, 2019
Protests against the Citizenship Act continued for the third consecutive day on Sunday, prompting the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool government to suspend internet services in six districts: Malda, Uttar Dinajpur, Murshidabad, Howrah, North 24 Parganas, and parts of South 24 Parganas. "Despite several requests by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, it was found that a few communal outfits have been carrying out violent protests and trying to spread false propaganda. In view of the situation, the administration has decided to temporarily suspend internet services in six districts of the state," the official said.
Meanwhile, Trinamool held peaceful rallies in various parts of the state against the amended Citizenship Act. Several senior party leaders, including ministers, led the rallies, appealing to the people to maintain calm and refrain from engaging in violence. West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee will hit the streets from Monday against the contentious legislation.
"Once again I appeal to all not to resort to violence and disturb public order, tranquility, and peace. It must be kept in mind that police stations, railway stations, airports, post offices, government offices, public transport, are public property. Vandalising public as well as private property in any form will not be tolerated and will strictly be dealt according to the law," said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while reiterating her stand on CAB and NRC.
The CAA seeks to provide citizenship to the minority communities namely Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. This will be applicable to the members of these communities having arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014. Moreover, they will not be considered as illegal migrants. Additionally, the mandatory residence period for naturalised citizenship for these communities would be reduced to 5 years. Several states in the North East have witnessed protests against this legislation. The opposition contends that the Act discriminates on the basis of religion, which might go against Article 14, which guarantees the right to equality.