In a relief to locals, internet connections that were snapped in Aligarh on December 15, following violent protests over the new Citizenship Act, were restored on Sunday. Demonstrations broke out in the city following the enactment of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act after which authorities imposed the internet ban. Unrest has simmered across UP as well as India over CAA.
"After the protest in the Aligarh Muslim University by students today, it cannot be denied that some anti-social elements can incite violence among the people using internet services to circulate inflammatory messages or content on social media, so to prevent that internet services remain suspended from 10 pm tonight till 10 pm tomorrow," the District Magistrate had said on December 15.
The Registrar of AMU Abdul Hamid had said that the university would remain closed till January 5, 2020, due to the present situation in the wake of protests against the citizenship law. Earlier on Thursday, Vice-Chancellor Professor Tariq Mansoor said, "Protestors should protest in a democratic and peaceful way. The sentiments should be conveyed in a lawful manner. If not, it will be exploited politically."
The BJP government has drawn huge flak from citizens across India against the CAA that fast-tracks citizenship for non-Muslim immigrants from neighbouring Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The government says the law is necessary to provide relief to thousands of people fleeing persecution in those countries because of their faith. Opponents of the law contend that the bill purposely leaves out Muslim immigrants and does not provide relief to those fleeing similar persecution in neighbouring Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
The protests initially began as peaceful mass agitation in Assam after the law as a bill was introduced in Parliament. However, it took a violent turn after the Parliament passed it and the CAB received Presidential assent. Since December 11, over a dozen people have been reported dead in clashes between protesters and police force across India, the highest toll coming from BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh. It was reported that at least 18 people, including an eight-year-old boy, lost their lives in UP since Thursday. A total of 5,400 people have been taken under custody till now and around 705 have been sent to jail, according to police.