Activists of Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) shout slogans and hold a cut out of US President Donald Trump as they protest against his visit to India in Kolkata, on February 24, 2020
Activists of Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) shout slogans and hold a cut out of US President Donald Trump as they protest against his visit to India in Kolkata, on February 24, 2020
Photo: AFP

On Monday, even as President Donald Trump touched down in India, visiting Sabarmati Ashram, Motera Stadium and the Taj Mahal, protests broke out in various parts of India.

Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) activists took to the streets in Siliguri, raising placards and chanting slogans to protest against President Trump's visit to India. There were also protests by the body in Kolkata.

Members of Leftist trade unions and student bodies marched towards the office of the USIS from Esplanade at the heart of the city. Videos of the incident showed them holding "Donald Trump go back" posters and chanting as they marched. Police stopped the rally in front of the Government Art College before it reached the Park Street crossing.

Police stopped another rally, led by CPI(M) leaders Surjya Kanta Mishra and Mohammed Salim, in front of the Indian Museum, a few hundred metres from the USIS office. An effigy of Trump was burnt and anti-US slogans, terming the US president as an imperialist, were raised by those who participated in the rally.

Leftist student unions also held a procession towards the USIS from Lenin statue at Esplanade in the afternoon. A Kolkata Police official said there was no untoward incident during the protest rallies. Members of Leftist party SUCI also burnt a cut out of Trump at Esplanade to protest his visit.

In Hyderabad too leftist organisations raised protests. Telangana CPI(M) secretary Tammineni Veerabhadram criticised the trip, stating that Trump's visit would only benefit America. He also slammed Prime Minister Modi for not showing concern for the plight of Indian-Americans when it came to issues such as green cards and citizenship given to children born in the US.

In a statement here, he said crores of farmers and daily wage earners in India would be in the streets if America begins to increase export of items like milk, poultry, apple and almonds from India.

Protests by Indian Federation of Trade Unions activists and other Left-affiliated outfits led to at least 10 people being detained in preventive custody. The protesters had contended that some of the agreements that were being negotiated with the US would adversely affect Indian farmers and other sections.

The police said that they would be released later.

Police personnel detain an activist of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) during a protest against US President Donald Trump's visit to India in Hyderabad on February 24, 2020
Police personnel detain an activist of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) during a protest against US President Donald Trump's visit to India in Hyderabad on February 24, 2020
Photo: AFP

President Trump is on a two day visit to India. On Monday he visited Gujarat's Sabarmati Ashram before addressing over 1 lakh people at the Motera stadium during the Namaste Trump event. Speaking a the event Prime Minister Modi called the President his friend, India's friend.

Trump then travelled to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal before going to Delhi.

(With inputs from agencies)

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