Samajwadi Party leaders and their supporters were not allowed to take out their protest march opposing the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on Thursday across the Division.
Also, Internet services remained suspended in Saharanpur on the fourth consecutive day on Thursday while it was also suspended in Muzaffarnagar district. Earlier, Internet services were also suspended in Meerut district for two days.
Hundreds of party workers and leaders of Samajwadi Party gathered at their respective party offices in Meerut, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Baghpat, Hapur, and Bulandshahar since morning to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). A heavy police force was deployed outside the Samajwadi Party offices in order to prevent the party leaders from carrying out a protest march. Henceforth, in spite of their best possible efforts, the SP leaders and their supporters could not take to the streets. However, the memorandum of the SP leaders was received by the officials at their offices.
Expressing dismay over this stance of the government of not allowing the party to carry out their peaceful protest the district president Rajpal Singh, who led the protest in Meerut said, “We all are here not only to protest against CAA but also to raise 18 other issues including the deteriorating law and order in the state, rising crime against women, farmers’ issues etc. By imposing section 144, the state government cannot silence the voices of dissent in a democracy.”
However, clarifying the government stance, ADG of Meerut zone Prashant Kumar said that section 144 was imposed to prevent possible chaos and unrest in the region.
So far 20 persons have been detained in the zone for posting provocative messages on social media, told the ADG, adding that a close vigil is being kept. He said that no one would be allowed to take the law in their hands.
Meanwhile, Internet services in Muzaffarnagar district were also suspended on Thursday and would be resumed only after taking stock of the situation by Friday evening, told Saharanpur Commissioner Sanjay Kumar. Meanwhile, internet services remained suspended in Saharanpur on the fourth consecutive days on Thursday.
Kumar, along with SSP of Saharanpur Dinesh Kumar, and district magistrate Alok Pandey, also convened a meeting with Mohatmim of Darul Uloom of Deoband and other owners of Madarsas on Tuesday in which the commissioner suggested the mohatmim and madarsa clerics to send back students of Bihar and far flung places of UP for a few days and told them that they are ready to provide vehicles and other logistic support for it.
Ashraf Usmani, spokesperson of Darul Uloom, however, explained that only the Managing Committee can take a decision to close the seminary for a longer period. He admitted that people have anger over CAA and they are trying in every possible way to convince people not to indulge in any illegal activities and protests.
According to an official, a close watch is being kept on madarsas to ensure that the Friday namaz goes peacefully in Deoband and other sensitive areas of the region. Few traders in Deoband of district Saharanpur hanged black flags in their shops to register their protest against CAA on Wednesday. Though they were removed on the request of the officials.
Activists of Blue Panthers organisation, led by Dalit activist Sushil Hautam burnt the copies of CAA inside the premises of Ch Charan Singh University and also raised anti CAA slogans.