KOLKATA: Taking a dig at the Narendra Modi-led central government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday demanded a referendum under the supervision of the United Nations on the issues of Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
‘‘Just because BJP has got the majority doesn’t mean that they can do whatever they want. The majority of citizens are against the amended Act. If the BJP has guts, it should go for a United Nation-monitored referendum. If the result of the mass opinion polls shows a majority of the citizens are against the Act and NRC, BJP should step down from the government,’’ she said while leading a rally at Esplanade on the fourth consecutive day since she had hit the city streets against CAA.
The CM also accused the BJP of manipulating the voters’ list.
She claimed that she has received information that the BJP is allegedly buying skull caps for its cadres, who are wearing them while vandalising properties to malign a particular community.
Giving a boost to the ongoing protests, 17 Left organisations, Congress held separate protests in the state. Thousands of common people, comprising students, Bengali culture clan personalities and celebrities, also took out protest marches.
Holding banners and carrying the tricolour, the protesters assembled at Ramleela Maidan and walked to New Market. The march was said to be apolitical and initiated by the citizens.
“The entire nation has erupted in protests. We have assembled to protest against the amended Act. We urge the people, irrespective of their caste, creed and group to raise voice against the black Act,” said film director Aparna Sen.
Internet services were resumed in Howrah and two sub-divisions of South 24-Parganas after no fresh incident of violence were reported on Thursday. Internet services were suspended four days ago following sporadic incidents of violence.
Violence at Ahmedabad rally, 5 cops hurt
A protest against the CAA and the National Register of Citizens in the Muslim-dominated Shah-E-Alam area in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, turned violent on Thursday, with at least five policemen getting injured in stone-pelting.
The police lobbed teargas shells to disperse the mob of around 2,000 persons.
Protesters shouted slogans and held placards saying “No CAB No NRC”.
When the police tried to disperse them, the protesters started throwing stones and brick pieces.
Bengal condemns Guha’s detention
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bengali academicians and educationists condemned the detention of historian Ramchandra Guha in Bangalore.
Educationist and academician Pabitra Sarkar said, “Guha’s detention reflects the ruler’s arrogance.”