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Protests against Citizenship Act continue in many states

81 persons detained in Ahmedabad as they gather for anti-CAA protest

Guwahati/Ahmedabad Pune/Chennai: Thousands of people hit the streets of Assam on Sunday decrying the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and vowing to continue with the protests till the law is withdrawn.

The opposition Congress, which kicked off a 800-km 'Padyatra' from Sadiya to Dhubri on December 22, reached Golaghat with thousands of people participating in it.

One of the largest anti-CAA gatherings took place in Nalbari where popular singer Zubeen Garg hinted at forming a new regional political party to contest state elections in 2021.

"The Congress, AGP and the BJP all betrayed us. We have to think of something new. If necessary, we will have our own party and contest elections," he added. People in large numbers were also seen taking part in a protest march at Samaguri in Nagaon.

Protests against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 were also held in Guwahati, Baksa, Dhekiajuli, Goalpara, Karbi Anglong, Bokajan, Howraghat, Naharkatiya, Tingkhong, Amguri, Doom Dooma, Kampur, Rangia, Barpeta and Bokakhat.

The agitators at all the anti-CAA gatherings demanded immediate release of peasant leader Akhil Gogoi, who was arrested during the stir.

The state had witnessed violent agitations after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in both Houses of Parliament.

Meanwhile, 81 persons including students were detained on Sunday as they gathered to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens near Gujarat University.

They were taken into custody as the protest had no permission and released soon afterwards, the police said.

Activists from civil society groups, faculty members of educational institutions including the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, trade union leaders and students gathered at the site for staging a demonstration around 5 pm.

"They were detained as the police had denied permission for the protest," inspector H M Vyas of Gujarat University police station said.

The activists had sought permission to hold protest on a footpath between the gates of Kanoria Centre for Arts and Amdavad-ni-Gufa.

The permission was not given for fear that it may create a law and order problem and disturb the traffic, the officer said. They were taken to the University police station and released, he added.

In Maharashtra's Pune city, hundreds of people took out a march on Sunday to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens.

The protesters shouted slogans against the new citizenship law and held placards with messages like "We reject Modi Made Holocaust", "We Reject CAA and NRC", "Stop dividing India" and "Boycott CAA and NRC".

The march, organised by various outfits, included some Left outfits and Muslim organisations, under the aegis of CAA and NRC Virodhi Maharally Niyojan Samiti, began at Golibar Maidan in the city's Cantonment area and concluded at the divisional commissioner's office.

In Chennai, eight people, including five women, were detained briefly, on Sunday when they staged an anti-CAA protest here by drawing 'kolams' (rangoli).

The eight were picked up for holding the protest without permission and causing inconvenience to others, a senior police official said adding they were later let off.

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