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‘Undeclared emergency’: Eminent personalities from India, abroad condemn detention of anti-CAA protesters

Historian Guha was picked up by police personnel in the middle of an interview and taken to a vehicle parked nearby.

SNS | New Delhi |

Eminent people from all over the world condemned the detention of historian Ramachandra Guha, who was peacefully protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Bangalore on Thursday. They called it an undeclared emergency in India. “This is a turning point. Feels like the beginning of a new Emergency,” read the twitter account of William Dalrymple, prominent historian and photographer.

Historian Guha was picked up by police personnel in the middle of an interview and taken to a vehicle parked nearby. He was protesting at the Town Hall in Bengaluru where Section 144 was imposed. Police said the protesters violated prohibitory orders clamped in the city.

“I am protesting non-violently but look they are stopping us,” said Guha before being surrounded by police. Guha is a noted scholar of India and he was written a biography of Mahatma Gandhi and is also a critic of the BJP and the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His arrest irked many as they vented their anger on different mediums like online and offline social media.

“How can they arrest him, an intellectual like him. He is a gem of India and it is a national shame for India,” said Saket Khanna, who was at Jantar Mantar to protest against the Act. Several people have taken to social media to criticize the government’s move.

“Every Indian has the right to protest. Detaining @Ram_Guha, cancelling peaceful protest, lathi charging students, imposing 144 – it’s time we announce the death of a democratic regime in Indi,” read the twitter handle of Nikita Azad @Nikita_azad.

“This is a clear and unmistakable signal of the intensity of the repression to come,” read the tweet of Vivek Swaroop Sharma.

“India’s wisest @Ram_Guha @_YogendraYadav among those arrested today while seeking to protest peacefully against Citizenship Amendment Act,” said Andrew Whitehead.

Meanwhile, in Delhi, Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhusan were detained. The police had imposed Section 144 of the CrPC near Red Fort in Central Delhi at the starting point of one of the proposed rallies. “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,” Yogendra Yadav tweeted.

“It is an honour to be detained on 19th of December, a small tribute to Ashfakulla Khan and Ramprasad Bismil. Happy to be in the company of Dr Dharamvir Gandhi, ex-MP, Patiala,” read another tweet by Yadav.

“We were walking to Shaheed Park, but police detained us (Harsh Mander and others) at ITO. No right of peaceful protest in this country anymore under this regime?” tweeted Prashant Bhusan.