Maharashtra anti-CAA protests: 330 booked for violence

Mumbai, Dec 21  More than 330 people have been booked in connection with 17 incidents of violence which erupted in different parts of Maharashtra during protests on Friday against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register for Citizens, an official said here on Saturday.

In these 17 incidents, at least 12 buses of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation and a fire brigade truck were damaged, besides a few other private vehicles, as protests rocked over a dozen districts on Friday.

While around 150 miscreants have been booked by the Hingoli Police for stone pelting, another 50 cases were lodged in Parbhani, 30 were arrested in Beed plus more than 100 persons have been booked for rioting, an official told IANS.

The police are scanning social media pictures and CCTV footage of the affected areas and more people are likely to be booked for the violence.

Three State Transport buses were stoned in Kalmanuri in Hingoli, in Beed and Nanded nine stationary buses were damaged during heavy stone throwing by some persons who targeted even the Beed Bus Depot while a parked fire brigade truck was stoned and damaged in Parbhani, the official said.

Some private vehicles which were parked in the vicinity also sustained damage in the stone pelting but there were no casualties in any of the incidents.

Massive protests, processions and demonstrations have been held all over Maharashtra in the past six days with lakhs of people taking to the streets and opposing the CAA-NRC largely in an orderly and peaceful manner.

After Friday’s violence, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, leaders of the ruling Shiv Sena, Congress leaders and ministers, Nationalist Congress Party leaders including Sharad Pawar, Ajit Pawar and Nawab Malik, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray, and others have appealed for peaceful and non-violent protests.

On December 19, massive demonstrations were witnessed in the historic August Kranti Maidan in Mumbai, and in the cities of Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Solapur, Osmanabad, Palghar, Beed and Amravati.

On December 20, people descended on the roads in Nagpur, Pune’s Pimpri-Chinchwad, Aurangabad, Thane’s Kalyan, Ambernath and Bhiwandi towns, Sangli, Hingoli, Beed, Nanded, Jalna, Ahmednagar’s Sangamner, Parbhani and Yavatmal.

Since the past six days, several prominent central and state educational institutions and college students have been vociferously protesting against the CAA-NRC, including from the University of Mumbai, TISS, IIT-B (all in Mumbai), Aurangabad’s Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Pune’s Savitribai Phule Pune University, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya in Wardha and others.