Internet services suspended in parts of West Bengal, trains cancelled amid Citizenship Amendment Act protests

Internet services suspended in parts of West Bengal, trains cancelled amid Citizenship Amendment Act protests

Making the announcement, a state government statement said the internet services were being shut down in Malda, Murshidabad and Howah districts

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, December 15, 2019, 04:35 PM IST
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A protester agitates against the passing of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB)at Santragachi in Howrah district of West Bengal on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019 | Photo: PTI

Kolkata: West Bengal government on Sunday suspended internet services in some parts of the state following continuing violence by protesters railing against the new citizenship law (CAA).

Making the announcement, a state government statement said the internet services were being shut down in Malda, Murshidabad and Howah districts.

Sources said internet would also be shut down in Basirhat and Barasat sub-divisions of North 24 Parganas district and Baruipur and Canning sub-divisions of South 24 Parganas district.

Sporadic incidents of violence continue to be reported from these parts of the state, the police said.

The statement alleged that some "externally mobilised communal forces" were "inciting violence".

The protests in Bengal have now entered their third consecutive day. In the past two days, violent protests have led to agitators torching buses, railways stations and vandalising public property.

On Sunday, sporadic incidents of violence were reported from Nadia, Birbhum, North 24 Parganas and Howrah districts of the state, the police said. In Amdanga and Kalyani areas of North 24 Parganas and Nadia districts, agitators blocked various thoroughfares, set fire to wooden logs on the streets. Shops were also ransacked and tyres burnt in Deganga area of North 24 Parganas. In Nadia, demonstrators blocked Kalyani Express Highway, some of them burning copies of the amended Act.

Similar protests were reported from Domjur area of Howrah district, parts of Burdwan and Birbhum, with agitators taking out rallies and shouting slogans against the Narendra Modi government.

Police contingents have been rushed to the troubled areas to control the situation.

Several trains on Sunday were also cancelled in the Howrah-Kharagpur railway section of South Eastern Railway. According to a press release, 15 trains, including the Howrah Express from Tirupati and Ernakulam, were cancelled, while 10 trains, including the Shalimar Express from Tiruvananthapuram, were partially cancelled following agitation on Sunday. Oncoming trains from Puri, Odisha were also cancelled for today.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday extended support to the protests being held in other states and announced statewide protests from Monday, saying that she will lead the rally.

West Bengal is not the only state protesting the Act. The northeastern states, especially Assam have seen vehement protests. After police opened fire on protesters, two individuals had later died of bullet injuries. On Sunday, the death toll rose to 4, with two more people succumbing to gunshot wounds in Assam's Guwahati, officials said.

Twenty seven people were admitted to the hospital with bullet injuries since Wednesday, Gauhati Medical College and Hospital Superintendent Ramen Talukdar told PTI.

However, protesters claimed that five persons have died in police firing during the agitations against the contentious law.

According to the amended Act, non-Muslim refugees, who escaped religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and moved to India before December 31, 2014, will be granted Indian citizenship.

Many however fear that this will exacerbate the problem of illegal immigration. Muslims across the country apprehend that the move could be a precursor to the country-wide implementation of the National Register for Citizens.

(With inputs from agencies)

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