Around 2 pm on Thursday, the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), the youth wing of the CPI(M) took out a march to the Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram, to protest the detention of Left party leaders in New Delhi. The march soon witnessed moments of unrest when the police used water cannons on the protesters.
CPI leader D Raja, CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat and others were detained by the police at Mandi House in New Delhi for defying the prohibitory orders to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The DYFI were also protesting against the detention of historian Ramachandra Guha in Bengaluru on Thursday morning. Protesting this, the DFYI called for a march to Raj Bhavan demanding their immediate release and the revocation of CAA.
As they started approaching the police barricade near Raj Bhavan and tried to move it, the police used water cannons to drive the protesters away from the barricade. A few DFYI members also hurled stones at police vehicles.
Following this, the protesting DYFI members sat on the road and started protesting.
AA Raheem, DYFI State Secretary, also addressed the gathering of protesters. “Kerala has been protesting peacefully so far. If the Modi government is not withdrawing the Act, it won’t be democratic protests anymore,” said Raheem.
A few minutes later, the DYFI members dispersed. But not long after, the Students Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of the CPI(M), also took out a march to Raj Bhavan with the same demands. The police deployed water cannons on the SFI protesters as they were trying to topple the barricades.
Protests against the CAA intensified across many parts of the country. Despite the imposition of Section 144 in Karnataka, hundreds converged at Bengaluru’s Town Hall and Mysore Bank Circle to protest against the Act. The police then forcibly detained over 200 people, including historian Ramachandra Guha.
In New Delhi, scores of protestors were detained by the Delhi Police near Red Fort when they tried to take out a march to protest the Act in defiance of the prohibitory orders imposed there. Swaraj Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yadav, former JNU student Umar Khalid and ex-JNUSU president N Sai Balaji were among those who were detained. Mobile internet and voice calling services have been snapped in many parts of the national capital following a government order.