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Anti-CAA protests: Yechury, D Raja among scores detained

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Sitaram Yechury and D Raja

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New Delhi: Several protesters including Left leaders Sitaram Yechury, D Raja, activist Yogendra Yadav and historian Ramchandra Guha were detained for taking part in anti-citizenship law stir defying prohibitory orders, while rail and roads services were hit in Bihar during a bandh called by left parties.

CrPC section 144 was imposed by Delhi Police in Red Fort area, but that did not deter scores of students and activists from converging there to raise their voice against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the police crackdown in Jamia Millia Islamia and the Aligarh Muslim University.

The agitators were put into buses in a bid to clear the Red Fort area. Holding placards and shouting slogans, the protesters allowed themselves to be escorted to the buses. Swarajya Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yadav was among those detained.

"I have just been detained from Lal Qila. About a thousand protesters already detained. Thousands on the way. Am told we are being taken to Bawana," Yadav tweeted.

Two protests were scheduled in the national capital, one by students and activists and the other by left parties. The two marches are to meet at Shaheen Park near ITO.

Left leaders D Raja, Sitaram Yechury, Nilotpal Basu, Brinda Karat and others were detained at Mandi House here during an anti-Citizenship Act protest for defying prohibitory orders imposed by the Delhi Police in the area.

"We are being detained," CPI general Secretary D Raja told PTI just before he was put into a bus by the police.

The Delhi Police has urged protestors to go to the designated place for their protest. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has closed entry and exit gates of 16 stations.

"We are requesting the protestors to please apply for the designated place for the protest. In the non-designated places, public face problems and many emergency services get affected.

"We urge people to not listen to any rumours. Section 144 has already been imposed in the area. Please cooperate with the Delhi Police," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa said.

In Bengaluru, Ramachandra Guha and many others were detained at the Town Hall area, in defiance of the prohibitory orders imposed in the city. He was taken away by police personnel and led to a vehicle parked nearby.

Reacting to his detention, Guha said it was "absolutely undemocratic" that police were not allowing even a peaceful protest, which is the democratic right of citizens.

The Communist Party of India too staged demonstrations in Bengaluru against the citizenship law and the proposed nation-wide NRC.

In Bihar, members of Left-wing student organisations -- All India Students Federation and the All India Students Association -- squatted on railway tracks at Rajendra Nagar Terminus early in the morning disrupting train movement.

Railway sources said normal traffic was restored after the protesters were chased away by RPF personnel.

However, the station witnessed fresh disturbance around 10 am when hundreds of activists of Jan Adhikar Party (JAP) floated by controversial ex-MP Pappu Yadav burnt tyres on an adjacent road and some of them squatted on the tracks.

They also vandalized an ambulance which tried to make its way through the road and head towards a residential locality nearby.

In Jehanabad, which had been a stronghold of the ultra-Left movement in Bihar, CPI(ML) activists staged a roadblock on Kako More, disrupting traffic on national highways NH 110 and 83.

In Maharashtra, the Congress, NCP and various other parties have formed a front called 'Hum Bharat Ke Log' and are organising a protest. It will hold a protest at the August Kranti Maidan in Mumbai.

Besides the Maharashtra units of Congress and NCP, the Samajwadi Party, CPI, CPI(M), JD(S), Peasants and Workers Party of India, Muslim League and various citizen organisations will also take part in the protest.

"The Constitution, drafted by Dr B R Ambedkar, is being violated and is under attack. This is the reason that the entire country has chosen this day to condemn the unconstitutional and divisive laws of the BJP government," the release by the front said.

West Bengal, Assam and Meghalaya, which were at the centre of the stir initially, were peaceful on Thursday.

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