Sporadic incidents of violent protests marked the day after the Citizenship Amendment Bill ( CAB) became law as large pockets of the state erupted with sloganeering against the CAB and proposed NRC. There was an outpouring of simmering anger in Kolkata as thousands took to the streets to protest against the CAB. Processions against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) were taken out at major intersections like Wellington, Park Circus crossing, Rajarhat and other areas sending the city traffic into a tizzy.
Police, outnumbered by the protesters, had a tough time reining them in. Although no untoward incident occurred, there was a considerable police presence to combat any eventuality. Elsewhere in the state, train movement in several pockets came to a standstill after thousands of protesters set fire on tracks, blocked railway lines and pelted stones at passengers to give vent to their angst. A loco pilot was injured, and a station was vandalised in stone-pelting by violent protesters in Uluberia.
Thousands from the minority community, protesting against the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed NRC, blocked the National Highway 6 at Uluberia in Howrah and protested by torching tyres. The protesters, with national flags, gathered at the spot around 2.30 pm and blocked the highway that connects Kolkata to the rest of the country. No policemen were seen at the spot as the protesters sat on the road, set tyres on fire and brought traffic to a standstill.
“We do not want India to be divided. We are for a secular West Bengal and against the amended Citizenship Act and the NRC,” said Maulana Ghulam Mustafa of the local Boro Masjid who was leading the agitation. Mustafa said the district magistrate or the sub-divisional officer would have to meet the protestors and listen to their demands. Sporadic protests took place in several parts of the state including Howrah, Murshidabad, West Midnapore and South 24 Parganas. Train services in several routes in both Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway were disrupted post afternoon due to the widespread protests.
Besides, Uluberia in Howrah and Beldanga Murshidabad too witnessed violence. A section of agitators vandalised the station and blocked the tracks by dumping luggage and other articles. At Uluberia Railway Station, the station master and other railway staff had to flee from the station master’s room to escape the wrath of the angry mob. Passengers remained stranded inside coaches for hours, due to violent protests on the tracks, station and platform. In Howrah-Chennai Coromondal Express thousands of passengers remained stranded for hours before being rescued by the RPF in the evening.
The agitators threw stones at the trains at Uluberia Station while other burnt tyres and set fire on the tracks. The driver of Howrah- Chennai Coromondal Express was also injured in the agitation. Uluberia Check Post, Kazipara, Belpool, GT Road, Santragachi, Uluberia Toll Plaza, witnessed massive traffic snarls due to the protests. Vehicles crawled as highways and roads remained flooded with a swarm of protestors. Simultaneously, widespread violence erupted in different parts of Murshidabad district, where people’s protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill of 2019 intensified. The agitators today set up blockades at several points on NH-34, burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union home minister, Amit Shah, sources said.