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Citizenship Act protests: Mamata warns of strict action amid vandalism across Bengal

The Bengal CM also reiterated that the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed country-wide NRC will not take effect in the state.

Published: 14th December 2019 03:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th December 2019 03:19 PM   |  A+A-

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday warned of strict action amid violent agitations and vandalism in several places across the state by people protesting against the amended Citizenship Act.

She appealed to people to maintain calm and protest democratically.

"Do not take up law in your hand. Do not put up road blockades and rail blockades and create trouble for the common people on the roads," Banerjee said in a statement released from the chief minister's office.

"Do not cause damage to government properties. Strict action would be taken against those who are found guilty in creating disturbances," the statement quoted her as saying.

She also reiterated that the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed country-wide NRC will not take effect in the state.

"It is my request, don't create confusion among people," she said.

ALSO READ | Anti-Citizenship Act protest intensifies in Bengal, station vandalised, vehicles torched in Howrah

On Friday, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar criticised Mamata for her assertion that she would not implement the new Citizenship Act, saying a person holding a constitutional post cannot oppose a law.

His statement came hours after Banerjee, who had been vociferously opposing the Citizenship Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise, declared that the amended law will not be enacted in Bengal.

"It is no longer a bill, but a law. The Parliament had cleared the Bill, following which the President gave his assent. So a chief minister, who is holding a constitutional post and has taken an oath of the Indian Constitution, can't just say that she will not implement the law," Dhankhar said.

Dhankhar has been engaged in a face-off with the TMC government over a host of issues, since assuming charge as the Governor of West Bengal.

In the wake of the ongoing protests across the state over the amended Act, the Governor also appealed to people to maintain peace and calm and not take law in their own hands.

Protests over the amended Citizenship Act have reached the shores of West Bengal with agitators resorting to violence and arson at railway stations and thoroughfares across the state, seeking immediate revocation of the law.

The legislation has put the Northeast on the boil as people fear that it may exacerbate the problem of illegal immigration, while Muslims across the country apprehend that the move could be a precursor to the country-wide implementation of the National Register for Citizens (NRC).

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